In keeping with the eco-friendly travel focus of our April issue of Global Traveler, “green” family tourism opportunities and environmentally conscious vacation options pop up all over the travel world.
Even the cruising industry makes waves in the sustainable travel trade. Exhibit: the ferry-cruiser, Viking Grace. Based in the Baltic Åland Islands, Viking Line joined the ranks of innovative cruise ships as the world’s first passenger vessel utilizing wind power. Now equipped with a high-tech rotor sail, a cylindrical device propels the ship by harnessing wind power and pushing slow-moving pressure toward one end, releasing a powerful spinning motion of the propeller.
The ecological improvements come after the vessel was already known to be a sustainable ship, fueled with low-emission liquefied natural gas since 2013. Now with the all-new rotor sail, Viking Grace hopes to reduce CO2 emissions by 900 tons yearly. The wind-powered cylinder is difficult to miss, stretching nearly 80 feet tall, 13 feet wide and passing through the water with ease. Developed by the Finnish firm Norsepower Oy Ltd., the simple and primitive, but effective concept is revolutionary in the cruising industry and lightens the company’s carbon footprint.
This may be the first of its kind, but it won’t be the last. Two similar rotor sails to double the power output of the vessel will be installed on the line’s newest ship. While currently under construction in China, the new ship is expected to be fully operational by 2020.
Viking Line’s focus on sustainable travel and constant environmental work began in the 1980s, but has grown exponentially. The cruise line’s mission to protect the Baltic Sea and surrounding archipelago, lower harmful fuel emissions and produce less waste recently increased with the help of cooperating partners.
Thanks to the Finnish-Swedish EU project of Connecting Europe Facility, the organization works to promote sustainable and efficient maritime connections, cutting out frivolity and minimizing harm on the environment. Together with the Port of Turku, Ports of Stockholm and the Port of Mariehamn, Viking Line has been granted EU funding from CEF for its collaborative NextGen Link project to use more sustainable vessel fuel, recycle materials and improve logistics in the link between Turku and Stockholm.
Read all about the conscientious cruise line’s “green” efforts, from knitting socks for the Red Cross, producing organic ice cream and supporting those in the Finnish community with disabilities.
Just because the kids have gone back to school and the days have started getting shorter doesn’t mean summer fun has to end. There are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy what’s left of the dwindling season. You can extend your warm weather adventures with these activities all over the country.
By Hainan Airlines
Downton Abbey swept into family rooms and show-binging homes back in 2010 and is now resurfacing with a new story — this time on film! For Downton Abbey enthusiasts, this is a highly-anticipated event; for newcomers, this is a great chance to binge the show ahead of the film’s release; and for families looking for any excuse to get away, this is the time to take advantage of CIE Tours lineup of Downton Abbey-themed stops.
There is an ever-growing number of options for wellness breaks — but it’s up to you to choose wisely in order to get the most from your experience. First, decide what kind of setting is best for facilitating an environment you find personally soothing or rejuvenating: city, forest, historic, mountain, ocean or lake? Do you want access to a yoga instructor, dance classes, hiking, cooking classes or another specific activity? Are you a solo wellness warrior, or do you prefer to travel with a partner or friends?
Mana is the life force Tahitians believe connects all things. Feel the mana for yourself on a visit to the islands of Tahiti, and sample some of these activities as you connect with the breathtaking nature of the South Pacific. Fly Air France from the United States to Tahiti in the most convenient and comfortable way and let your holiday start on board.
Dressing up for Halloween and collecting candy is what dreams are made of for kids — and, sometimes, those in their teens. Add in the special attention to detail kids and parents come to expect from LEGOLAND, and the spooky season gets a lot more fun.