Following on from a successful first season, P&O Cruises is adding a number of new options to its Green World Tours program for 2012. This also comes after the programme received an Environmental Initiative Award for its notable contribution to advancing the environmental aspect of cruising.
Green World Tours are a range of charitable and responsible tourism based shore experiences designed to support the towns and communities visited on longer itineraries, as well as giving the passenger a unique experience ashore.
The first Green World Tour was in November 2009 and tours are now operated by P&O Cruises in 16 destinations worldwide.
The tours vary in price and are non-profit making. Some include a donation and others just cover costs and passengers are free to donate as they choose.
New tours for P&O Cruises in 2012 are:
• Rural Life & SOS Village, Nha Trang, £26
A visit to the local SOS Children’s Village - an independent, non-governmental social development organisation that works to meet the needs and protect the rights of children without parental care. The tour then continues on to the Vinh Thanh commune to see how local farmers plant and harvest the rice; followed by the opportunity to visit a family in a typical Vietnamese rural house and to visit a communal house at Vinh Ngoc Village.
• Mondesa Township, Walvis bay, £99
A visit to the Mondesa Township in Swakopmund, which was established in the early 1950s to provide housing for Owambo, Damara and Herero people working in Swakopmund. Mondesa is a township where poverty and unemployment is high and by opening their lives to travellers and visitors, the township community raises awareness and can provide opportunities for growth, friendship, support and a greater understanding between varied cultures.
• Kibbutz voluntour, Ashdod, £44
A visit to a kibbutz, a collective community way of living which only exists in Israel. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a mixture of socialism and Zionism with ideals based on the principle of joint ownership of property, equality and cooperation of production, consumption and education. The tour then offers the chance for participation in ‘Project Leket’ an initiative that sends volunteers into fields and orchards to gather produce for donation to those in need in Israel.
Tours are offered on some longer itineraries, such as Oceana’s 24 night Eastern Mediterranean cruise departing February 26 (including a call in Ashdod), and all world cruises. In 2012 Arcadia, Aurora, Oriana and Adonia are offering world cruises of between 87 and 109 nights in duration with shorter sectors available.
Tours are offered in ports of call including Limon, Bali, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, Port Kelang (Kuala Lumpur), Phuket and Port Elizabeth.
P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow, said: “We have seen an excellent response to this new collection of tours and this shows that our passengers and crew really value the destinations that they visit and want to give something back.
“The recent Environmental Initiative Award for this programme is fantastic recognition for the steps these Green World Tours are taking to advance the environmental aspect of cruising and we will continue to expand this programme to offer tours to even more passengers in more ports of call.”
Green World Tours are also offered to various wildlife centres and charitable projects, such as the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre in Laem Chabang and the Cats and Dogs Rescue Centre in Koh Samui.