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Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Sustainable Shore Excursion Program

In 2010, as part of its destination stewardship program, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) set a public goal to have 50 percent of all shore excursions available to passengers verified to an internationally recognized sustainability standard by the end of 2015. RCL is pleased to announce they’ve reached the goal and now offer over 2000 excursions operated in a sustainable manner.

To reach this goal, RCL partnered with Sustainable Travel International to launch the RCL Sustainable Shore Excursion Program. This initiative included the development of sustainability standards for shore excursion providers and the identification of eligible sustainable tourism programs (listed below). RCL and Sustainable Travel International then set out to build awareness and encourage providers to enroll and have their operations verified. Reaching the first milestone was just the beginning and RCL, in partnership with World Wildlife Fund, have raised the bar with their 2020 goals.

Eligible Sustainable Shore Excursion Programs

Below is the list of pre-approved programs that provide the services needed to qualify for inclusion in the Sustainable Shore Excursion Program and be a part in helping Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. meet it’s sustainability goals. The verification/certification process ensures that shore excursion providers are operating in a way that contributes to the long-term viability of the communities, cultures and environments in which they do business. Tour operators that participate in one of  the Sustainable Shore Excursion Programs receive marketing benefits from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., including an exclusive Sustainable Shore Excursion icon, used throughout Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. pre-departure and on-board marketing channels.

STEP Shore Excursion Program

This internationally recognized sustainability standard was developed with the support of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., using the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) criteria.  It has been designed to suit the unique needs of shore excursion businesses serving the cruise industry, including large scale tour operators who have an extensive supply line of sub-contracted excursions and smaller independent excursion providers.  This program provides turnkey templates and verification procedures to gain immediate access to the marketing incentives from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. for the Sustainable Shore Excursion Program.

Certification In Sustainable Tourism (CST)

This internationally recognized sustainability standard is hosted through the Costa Rica Tourism Board and is only available to Costa Rican tour operators and excursion providers.

EarthCheck

This internationally recognized sustainability standard focuses on both large tour operators and small excursion providers with certification available globally.

Green Globe

This internationally recognized sustainability standard applies to any large tour operators and small excursion providers.

Rainforest Alliance

This internationally recognized sustainability standard supports small scale operations in Latin America.

Travelife

This internationally recognized sustainability standard applies to tour operators based in Europe that have an extensive supply line of sub-contracted excursions.

Consideration for other programs

Programs that are not listed may be considered on a case-by-case basis and inclusion is not guaranteed.