The best places to visit are often only accessible by boat. Here’s the way to go on an eco-friendly boating getaway for an “impossible to forget” experience.
Boat lovers and eco-conscious travellers are in for a real treat since many popular boating destinations worldwide now adhere to sustainable practices. After the stresses of the day-to-day 9 to 5 schedule, going on a boating holiday makes sense.
Of course, there are numerous ideal locations for a boating holiday, but only a few places follow the concept of eco-tourism, offering boating adventures with minimal environmental impact.
If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some boating getaways for eco-conscious travellers.
1. Sailing in Indonesia
For boat lovers, being on the water is enough to stir up joy. But that pleasure also comes with the responsibility of protecting the environment and preserving it for generations. The good news is that many boating companies now embrace green habits, allowing for an eco-friendly boating getaway.
Home to over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is the perfect destination for sailing. Your eco-friendly sailing getaway to Indonesia will take you to the famous tourist islands of Bali and the incredibly stunning archipelago of Raja Ampat. Spend your days exploring secluded bays, discovering wildlife, swimming with sea turtles, or hiking through local villages. Those seeking more action can enjoy onboard water sports facilities like snorkelling, kayaking, and paddleboarding. The most thrilling of these is the opportunity to hike through a national park home to the mighty Komodo dragons!
In Indonesia, many tourism companies offer cruises directly linked to social businesses and non-profit activities. These are the types of companies you should choose when sailing in Indonesia. When boarding their sustainable boats, you’ll embark on an exciting voyage of discovery while contributing to a sustainable way of travel. Boating experts passionate about preserving the environment while helping the local communities are the brains behind these companies.
2. Cruising in the Galapagos
It’s rare to find places that allow you to get too close to incredible wildlife, like giant tortoises and playful sea lions. If you’re looking for a boating holiday offering unforgettable wildlife encounters, consider a cruising tour in the Galapagos Islands. Aside from the wildlife, another great thing about a cruise in the Galapagos is that most tourism activities here are as environmentally friendly as possible.
It’s worth noting that no vessel can sail in the Galapagos without the official approval of the Galapagos National Park and Ecuador’s Maritime Authorities. They only allow cruises that help to conserve water and energy, use locally produced products, and recycle or treat waste materials. More importantly, each vessel should have highly trained personnel knowledgeable about keeping the environment safe.
When cruising in the Galapagos, you’ll visit various islands home to different species of birds and wildlife. These include the famous Galapagos tortoises, sea lions, and penguins. Your cruise will come with inland excursions with a naturalist guide, allowing you to learn more about the wildlife dwelling on the archipelago. Depending on the cruise, you can visit conservation centres and enjoy water activities like scuba diving, kayaking, and paddleboarding. You’ll also learn more about preserving the environment and other sustainable tourism practices.
3. River Cruising in France
Not much is known about the environmental impact of a river cruise, unlike other boating getaways. Thankfully, many boating companies in France now offer sustainable, scenic river cruises designed for travellers passionate about the environment. These river cruises have a low impact on the environment while still offering incredible boating experiences.
Companies that offer sustainable river cruising in France use boats that run on solar power instead of gas. Others avoid the one-time use of plastic by having refillable containers onboard. In addition, these companies hire staff knowledgeable of the best practices for sustainability and preserving the environment.
River cruising in France offers an intimate way to discover the French countryside without causing harm to the environment. The most popular route goes through the 777-km-long Seine River, starting in Paris and going into the picturesque cities of Rouen and Normandy.
The Rhine River cruise is another fantastic option when river cruising in France. Before reaching the North Sea, the Rhine River forms a natural border between Germany and France, with plenty to see on the way. It offers a chance to discover some of Europe’s most beautiful scenery and stunning natural scenery while tasting delectable food and wine.
4. Island Hopping in Croatia
With its extensive coastline and numerous unique islands, Croatia is the perfect place for a boating getaway, especially when small ship island hopping is involved. Thankfully, it’s also one of the countries that embraces sustainable tourism, with many local boating companies offering eco-friendly cruise lines. These cruises aim to reduce environmental impacts by drastically reducing single-use plastic and partnering with marine conservation centres.
Many small ship cruises that offer island hopping excursions in Croatia support the local communities by allowing the opportunity to visit family-run vineyards and dine at local restaurants with a menu showcasing locally harvested produce. Besides visiting local villages, your island-hopping cruise will take you to stunning natural attractions like the Plitvice Lakes Natural Park and Krka Falls National Park.
Some of the best destinations for island hopping in Croatia include the UNESCO-listed Dubrovnik, the picturesque ancient city of Split, and the sophisticated Hvar Island. Unlike the big cruise ships whose proceeds go to corporate firms, the revenue generated from island hopping cruises in Croatia will go towards helping the local community.
5. Narrow Boating in the UK
One of the benefits of narrow boating in the UK is the opportunity to harness renewable energy sources, making it an ideal option for eco-conscious boaters. Many boating companies install solar panels on the boat’s roof, generating enough power to run appliances and lights. Some also use wind turbines and hydroelectric generators to minimise carbon footprints.
Aside from the eco-friendly aspect of it, narrow boating in the UK is an incredible opportunity to enjoy nature to the fullest. The UK canals are some of the most beautiful in the world, home to some of the country’s most picturesque villages.
Your narrowboat will travel at only a maximum speed of four miles per hour, allowing you to soak up the beauty of the surroundings. If you are dying to escape the hustle and bustle, you should go for a narrow boating holiday. It never feels rushed, leaving you feeling relaxed.