MSC Cruises’ Summer Shorex Sets Sights On Sustainability: More low carbon tours, Hybrid and electric buses to shuttle guests, More ‘Protectours’
MSC Cruises’ summer 2022 programme of shore excursions will have its strongest ever focus on minimising the environmental impact of land-based tours and supporting nature-positive activities.
More electric and hybrid shuttle buses will be used for guests to shuttle from ports to places of interest in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Spain and Sweden with MSC Cruises aiming to increase the utilisation of green ground transportation in the future.
Low carbon footprint excursions will include 150 bicycle tours available in 21 countries – which are growing in popularity among the line’s guests – and more sustainable shore excursions called ‘Protectours’ that MSC Cruises first introduced in 2020 will be available.
Up to 70 per cent of Protectours will have a low environmental impact thanks to an increase in the number of walking, hiking, bicycling, canoeing and kayaking excursions ashore with many tours set to make a direct contribution to the environment by helping the protection of habitats and species.
MSC Cruises worked extensively in 2021 to provide tour operators with responsible and sustainable tourism training and ‘Protectours’ will be available at the start of summer 2022 at 20 ports which is set to grow to up to 90 destinations by the season’s end.
Examples of ‘Protectours’ available include planting trees to replenish lost forests in the Greek island of Rhodes, collecting plastic waste from the beaches of the Adriatic sea, nature walking tours in the Bahamas, making eco-friendly jewellery in Helsinki, Finland, urban farming and beekeeping in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, organic rooftop farming in Copenhagen, Denmark and stone cleaning in Scotland.
Marialuisa Iaccarino, Head of Shore Excursions, MSC Cruises said, “Travel and tourism has a very significant role to play in global decarbonisation and we need to demonstrate leadership by ensuring that we meet the expectation of travellers who are more aware and engaged in sustainability matters and the protection and enhancement of the natural environment.
“At MSC Cruises we are determined to prove that the industry is a positive and engaged player in driving sustainable tourism.”
MSC Cruises’ summer 2022 shore excursion programme will total nearly 1,400 tours, the line’s largest offering to date. Northern Europe will host 640 different excursions, the Mediterranean 550 and the Caribbean 200 with every MSC Cruises sailing set to offer something for every type of holidaymaker, irrespective of their age and interests.
Guests who book any of MSC Cruises’ summer 2022 shore excursions will benefit from a price reduction of up to 20 per cent if booked in advance. Pre-booking guarantees a space on the most popular tours and also guarantees entry to some of the world’s most popular attractions which may not have walk-up ticket availability on the day of a proposed visit.
MSC Cruises has also waived its ‘safe bubble’ shore excursions it pioneered for the cruise industry in 2020 as a result of the pandemic ashore and guests can make their own sightseeing arrangements subject to the regulations stipulated by local authorities.
The Swiss-based line has a long-term goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions for its operations by 2050. This will be achieved by investing and supporting the accelerated development and implementation of innovative, cutting-edge technologies to be deployed across the Company’s fleet of ships.