Variety Cruises’ Captain Inspired a Company-wide Sustainability Program

Variety Cruises Beach Cleanup in Flores island

Captain Antoniou Leontios is the master of Variety Cruises’ 49-passenger Panorama II ship that cruises the Flores Island in Indonesia.

So disturbed by the rubbish on the beaches there, he decided to make it his personal mission to clean up the ever-growing plastic and flotsam polluting waterways and beaches, according to a press release from the company. 

Captain Leontios first noticed the serious issue of trash on the beaches when the boat docked in the Port of Flores Island, Indonesia. On a nearby beach there was a myriad of flotsam.

“I decided something had to be done about this,” said Captain Leontios. “It seemed like the right thing to do.”

“The sea and the natural beauty of beaches and islands are the livelihoods for myself and my crew. We need to respect and protect them and, whilst our passengers were off site-seeing, we thought we would take up the challenge,” said Leontios in a statement.

News of Captain Leontios and the crew’s cleanup initiative spread quickly to Variety Cruises’ passengers, so that by the time the ship reached its next stop, eight guests volunteered to join them.

When the passengers discovered what we were doing, they too wanted to get involved,” said Leontios.

Captain Leontios’ initiative, starting with filling a few trash bags, has resulted in the promotion of eco-awareness throughout Variety Cruises. “We have already started eliminating single-use plastics from our fleet,” said Chris Lorenzo, Variety’s UK Managing Director. “Our vessels are uniquely placed to do something practical. We only have small ships of 50-70 passengers, so we can get close up to beaches and moor anywhere.”

Leontios now organizes regular beach cleanups on the Panorama II, but the practice has spread to other ships in the Variety Cruises’ fleet, with crew and passengers collecting litter in Costa Rica, the Greek Islands, and West Africa. Guests are also given refillable water bottles, and Variety has made investments in its fleet’s water purification systems. Variety has replaced plastic straws and glasses with sustainable and biodegradable alternatives and have installed shampoo dispensers in order to eliminate the small plastic bottles offered in cabins, according to the company.

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