Wholesalers

Peregrine triples Europe cruises after overtourism fears

Peregrine Adventures is tripling the number of its small ship Adventure Cruising departures in Europe in 2018 in response to growing demand for more sustainable cruises.

After almost 40 years as a leader in small group adventure travel on land, Peregrine Adventures’ first season of small ship cruises has been an overwhelming success with a pilot charter trip along the Croatian coast 95 per cent sold out.

Now the carbon-neutral travel company will add four new charter itineraries to its Adventure Cruising range in Europe, with a total of 20 departures available in 2018.

Peregrine Adventures will also offer a wider range of trips operated in partnership with Variety Cruises, which are carbon-offset by parent company, the Intrepid Group.

Cruise is one of the largest growing sectors in the global tourism industry, but the sector has been in the spotlight lately for sustainability issues with locals protesting against mass tourism in European cities such as Venice and Barcelona.

Peregrine Adventures Adventure Cruising range is operated by small ships with no more than 50 travellers onboard, enabling travellers to visit the small ports that big ships can’t get to and explore little-known towns and villages in some of the world’s hottest travel destinations.

It’s a conscious choice, enabling the renowned responsible travel company to operate in the same immersive local style as it offers on almost 2000 trips on land each year.

“Travellers are increasingly aware of the impact they can have on holiday” said James Thornton, CEO of the Intrepid Group.

“We’ve heard from local leaders that cruise ship travellers are now being called ‘ice cream tourists’ because that’s all they’re buying when they visit an increasingly overcrowded city like Dubrovnik.”

“We want to be a bit of a disruptor and change the cleat of cruising,” Thornton added.

“Firstly, in a more sustainable and more immersive fashion.

“The size of our ships is maximum 50 people. We can pull into local small towns and jump off the boat in small numbers.”

Thornton said he believes the demand for a more sustainable style of small ship cruising is so big, that Adventure Cruising travellers may outnumber those on Peregrine Adventures land-based trips in another ten years.

“We’re starting small, but we have big ambitions to grow a more sustainable style of cruise ship travel. There has been an overwhelming response to this first season. By 2025, we may even see more Peregrine customers travelling on small ship cruises than on our land-based trips”.

“As part of its commitment to sustainable tourism, in 2018 Peregrine Adventures has banned all single-use plastics such as straws, cups, and water bottles on board its Adventure Cruising charter trips. Cloth bags and refillable water bottles will be provided.”

Highlights from Peregrine’s 2018 Adventure Cruising Europe program include:

  • Peregrine Adventures original Croatia Coastal Cruising trip sails from Split to Dubrovnik including the small riverside town of Opuzen and a special detour to Mostar, in Boznia and Herzegovina. Prices start from $2650 per person for eight days.
  • Hidden Gems of Greece combines traveller favourites such as Santorini and Mykonos with stops in lesser known islands such as Syros and Sifnos, known for its incredible cuisine. Prices start from $3,856 per person for eight days.
  • The Cruise Croatia’s Central Coast itinerary heads north from Split to Zadar, and includes an inland excursion to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Prices start from $2461 per person for eight days
  • Explore Iceland’s Wild West Coast on a small ship, travelling from Reykjavik to Akureyri through the far-flung Westfjords looking out for puffins, nesting birds and whales along the way. Prices start from $4702 per person for eight days.
  • Discover Portugal and Spain’s lesser travellers Southern reaches and get a taste of Tangier in Peregrine’s Portugal, Spain and Morocco new Adventure Cruising trip. Prices start from $4041 per person for eight days.

All trips are accompanied by Peregrine Adventures’ local leaders and include on-board WiFi and kayaks, all transfers and excursions, as well as most meals.

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