‘Shame on you’: Cruise ship travellers greeted by protesters dressed as polar bears in France

The Planet Traveller travellers disembarked to a group of 80 booing demonstrators in Brittany yesterday.


Cruise ship travellers had a rude welcome to France at the weekend as environmental protesters gathered to condemn their alternative of vacation.

Tourists aboard the ‘World Traveller’ cruise ship ended up greeted by cries of “shame on you!”, “you are not welcome” and “go home” on arrival into the port of Douarnenez in Brittany.

Close to 80 demonstrators satisfied the 196-person-ability luxury vessel owned by Atlas Ocean Voyages, a US-based mostly corporation which promises “intimate, yacht-fashion cruises” to “unreachable destinations”.

Several of them ended up dressed as polar bears, sea lions or Venetian carnival goers, including a 25-12 months previous protester who is fed up with “luxury and expedition trips”.

These boats “spend their time heading back and forth involving the poles to do very last-possibility tourism: see the very last penguins, the final polar bears, the last icebergs. It is indecent,” she advised news company AFP.

Why are ‘luxury and expedition’ cruises so controversial?

The Planet Traveller vessel sailed into the Breton port as element of a 10-day cruise from Dublin to Lisbon, priced at €8,048 to €13,257 per passenger.

But it’s frequently slicing by way of more remote waters, on journeys to Antarctica, the Arctic and Norwegian fjords, or Iceland and Greenland.

In November for case in point, the cruise ship will set sail on a 10-working day cruise to Antarctica, with rates ranging from €15,625 to €25,379.

All cruises appear at a hefty price tag to the weather, as their lodge and leisure facilities demand from customers additional fuel burn off, chuffing out massive amounts of air pollutants.

A the latest study by the NGO Transportation & Natural environment estimates that cruise ships sailing in European waters past year emitted far more than 8 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2. Which is the equivalent of 50,000 fights in between Paris and New York.

Sailing near to coastlines delivers air pollution-associated health difficulties to neighborhood populations – and lots of men and women living in close proximity to cruise ports have experienced ample, even banning the huge ships in some places.

‘Expeditions’ to the planet’s poles occur with a diverse set of environmental consequences. Scientists in Antarctica have observed darkened snow at the south pole, as an boost in vacationer journeys contributes to black carbon air pollution.

They estimate that each customer is leading to Antarctica to eliminate 83 tonnes of snow. It is challenging to imagine of a a lot more stark case in point of a vacationer encounter detrimental the natural environment it seeks.

The irony is not dropped on campaigners. In Douarnenez bay, the nameless protester said that their demonstration was partly, “in aid of the polar fauna which is struggling from climate modify and all the implications of our way of lifetime in this modern society.”

How did passengers and Atlas Ocean Voyages answer to the protest?

One particular cruise passenger appeared to consider the hostile atmosphere in his stride.

Eric Scott, a 49-year-previous American vacationer, explained the hubbub of boos whilst disembarking as a “useful educational experience”.

“That’s one of the motives we travel – to get views from other areas,” he told AFP.

On its internet site, Florida-centered Atlas Ocean Voyages statements that, “We choose sustainability tactics pretty severely. To make certain we go away the world as we identified it for future generations, our fleet of eco-helpful yachts are goal-crafted with innovative technologies and gear.”


It suggests that its yachts eat “only a fifth of the fuel” utilized by classic cruise ships, “thus lessening [their] impression on the setting.”

The technological innovation for guilt-absolutely free, zero emissions cruising is not right here nevertheless although. And environmental campaigners give quick shrift to firms performing usually.

“We are just denouncing this industry which has no explanation to exist,” a 47-calendar year-previous protester stated yesterday in Brittany.

“We never require this marketplace,” she reported, adding that “Biodiversity is more important.”

Various cruise ship disembarkations have had to be cancelled or organised under police escort in Douarnenez in new months, AFP stories.


At Sunday’s protest, a police cordon prevented demonstrators from approaching the landing zone.