Marine Conservation Institute and Holland America Line's "Our Marvelous Oceans" program highlights and educates guests and crew about marine protected areas around the world through on-board presentations by shipboard personnel. Topics will cover what is a marine protected area and how to respectfully interact with an area to not cause harm to the area and wildlife. These experiences can be enhanced through participation in shore excursions to nearby areas.
“The goal of our new focus is to promote marine protected areas around the world — especially in those regions where our ships sail. The new program also will create enrichment opportunities for guests to learn more about these important conservation areas,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “Together with Marine Conservation Institute, Holland America Line shares a belief in our responsibility to protect the oceans, and together we want to educate guests and crew about these areas and about how we can collectively make a difference.”
In the Caribbean the program will largely focus on marine life and a variety of tropical ecosystems. For example, in Key West, Fla., guests can go snorkeling in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to see the area’s beautiful coral reefs. Or in San Juan, Puerto Rico, cruisers can embark on a unique nighttime kayak adventure into the bio-luminescent bay at Laguna Grande of Fajardo to learn about the water’s organisms and see how they “light up” at night.
In Australia and New Zealand, regional programs include a nature cruise to observe Hector’s dolphins at the Akaroa Marine Reserve at Akaroa, New Zealand. These are just a few of the excursions offered by Holland America Line that feature marine protected areas.
“We are excited to create another meaningful program in partnership with Holland America Line,” said Dr. Lance Morgan, president of Marine Conservation Institute. “Marine protected areas are an important tool for safeguarding critical ecological places around the world, yet they receive little attention and awareness. This is a fantastic opportunity to bring more focus on these special ocean places.”
The “Our Marvelous Oceans” partnership began in 2010 and will continue through 2016. The goal of the program is to educate guests and crew about marine conservation issues, including this new focus on marine protected areas.