Tell me more about ecotourism…
Think about ecotourism as an opportunity for you to get a deeper understanding of the natural world without destroying it in the process. In fact, you actively contribute to its conservation through this activity.
The text-book definition of ecotourism is something along these lines: a form of tourism involving visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low-impact and often small-scale alternative to standard commercial tourism.
With that in mind, our aim is to open your eyes to the amazing oceanic world, while minimizing our impact. We approach ecotourism as an opportunity to educate by inspiring and raising awareness. We are also active followers of local conservation and research programmes and believe that we have a responsibility to support the work of these groups – often volunteer run – in our day-to-day business. That means providing financial support wherever possible (some might say “putting your money where your mouth is”!).
Our intention is to minimise the negative impacts of tourism on the environment, and respecting the integrity of the area’s history – both ecological and cultural. We endeavour to sail as much as possible, to avoid using fuel. Our activities are non-invasive (snorkelling, kayaking) and we respect the guidelines provided by DOC regarding interaction with marine life in the Bay of Islands. While we might fish for our supper, we do so responsibly.
Founded in 2000, Ecocruz has been bringing the fascination of the marine world closer to people for over 12 years. We love the ocean and its wildlife, and while we won’t preach (too much) we will inform you about everything that is good and not so good about the state of the Bay of Islands and our oceans in general. We do this in an informal way by giving you interesting background information about the Bay and the native wildlife as you are experiencing it.
Most importantly, we show you easy ways in which you can make a difference if you so choose. We have trained nature guides on board, often with a marine science background, so the information we share with you is accurate, honest and meaningful. If some of our passion and enthusiasm for the oceans rub off on you then we consider our mission accomplished!
More specifically, we aim to live up to the definition of ecotourism as laid out by the Nature Conservancy:
Ecotourism can be distinguished from nature tourism by its emphasis on conservation, education, traveler responsibility and active community participation. Specifically, ecotourism possesses the following characteristics:
• Conscientious, low-impact visitor behavior
• Sensitivity towards, and appreciation of, local cultures and biodiversity
• Support for local conservation efforts
• Sustainable benefits to local communities
• Local participation in decision-making
• Educational components for both the traveler and local communities