Travelers sailing with Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, may select from 240 special eco-excursions, created to minimize their impact on ecosystems and generate economic opportunities for local communities. Excursions are available on all Costa sailings, throughout the regions Costa sails including the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America, Dubai, Indian Ocean and Far East.
“Costa’s commitment to social accountability is deep-rooted and these excursions are a reflection of the efforts we’re making on many levels, all of which are highlighted in our voluntary and public sustainability report,” said Maurice Zarmati, president & ceo of Costa Cruises North America. “We love bringing our guests to some of the most intriguing destinations in the world while being able to leave an eco-friendly footprint behind in these special places.”
One of Costa’s most popular eco-excursions is “Lanzarote: Yesterday and Today” in Arrecife, Canary Islands. This excursion takes travelers through the scenic hidden side of Lanzarote and introduces guests to the island’s art, traditions and customs. Travelers will first be taken to the César Manrique Museum-Foundation, located on the site of Manrique’s former house and studio. Manrique, famous for his paintings, architecture and sculptures was also a renowned ecologist. The museum is built on an outcrop of lava on top of five large natural volcanic bubbles. Visitors of the museum will learn how he furnished and designed the spaces by taking advantage of all environments. Later, excursionists will cross Lanzarote’s lunar landscape and arrive at the Cactus Garden, containing over 1,000 different species of cacti. At the end of the excursion, travelers will visit “El Patio Agricultural Museum,” where they will be able to visit a farmer’s house dated from 1840 with all of its typical furniture and utensils set in the oldest and largest agriculture cultivation of the island. El Patio still grows fruit trees, tomatoes and other vegetation and breeds animals including camels, goats and chickens in an agricultural landscape showing the best example of human integration to nature. Guests will also be able to taste traditional food from the island accompanied by a glass of local wine.
In Singapore, guests may enjoy the “Night Safari Tour,” which is the world’s first wildlife park built to be viewed at night. The park covers an area of 40 acres where animals are allowed to roam freely in huge landscaped enclosures. The different areas of the park are divided into eight geographical zones, including everything from the exotic Himalayan foothills to the Nepalese River Valley, the Savanna grasslands of Equatorial Africa and the dense jungles of Indo-Malaya. A subtle lighting technique throughout the park enables excursionists to view over 1,000 nocturnal animals of over 100 species in their most active time. The featured animals on the safari include the greater one horned rhino, cape giraffes and buffalo, Malayan tigers, African bongo, blue sheep and Asian elephants.
For guests seeking an action-packed eco-excursion, the “Volcano Hiking” tour in Santorini, Greece is not to be missed. After a boat trip in a traditional “caique,” an uphill walk will take excursionists to the crater of an active volcano. While walking up the ascending path, guests will have the opportunity to observe lava fragments and volcanic rock formations. Once they have reached the crater, they will have time to relax and enjoy the view of Santorini. Guests will also see the amazing cliff of Caldera, a depression created as a result of a volcanic eruption.
Spa and wellness enthusiasts will have the opportunity to enjoy an incredibly unique spa experience when cruising with Costa in Northern Europe. Located in Lake Myvatn, the “Myvatn Nature Baths” is Iceland’s newest health-spa and part of Costa’s eco-excursion offerings. Opened in June 2004, the complex offers bathers a completely natural spa experience with a relaxing dip in clouds of steam rising up from a fissure deep in the Earth’s surface. Containing a unique blend of minerals, silicates and geothermal micro-organisms, the warm, soothing waters of Myvatn Nature Baths benefit both skin and spirit alike, creating a sense of well-being which lingers on as a lasting memory of a visit to this area at Europe’s outer limits.