Following news that it has renewed its partnership with its nominated partner, ORCA, the charity dedicated to marine conservation, Ambassador Cruise Line is delighted to announce that its CEO, Christian Verhounig, and ORCA’s CEO, Sally Hamilton, will join guests onboard Ambience for the operator’s very first CEO-themed ORCA itinerary.
Guests sailing on the 12-night ‘Iceland’s Land of Ice & Fire’ sailing departing London Tilbury on 7 July will have a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with Christian and Sally, who will host ‘in conversation with’ and FAQ sessions, offering travellers the opportunity to learn more about their journeys in sustainable travel & tourism and conservation.
Sally will share insights into her fascinating career, from protecting seals in the Canadian Arctic to her role at ORCA, while offering guests the chance to learn more about ORCA’s history, future endeavours and initiatives. These include a joint Anti-Whaling Campaign with Ambassador, first launched in 2022 to encourage change, which positions the cruise line as the industry leader on the issue of commercial whaling and unnecessary dolphin hunts.
With over 25 years’ experience in the industry, Christian will shed light on what it takes to launch a new cruise line at a time when the sustainable actions of any operator are under scrutiny. Guests will hear him explain how sustainability is and will remain a core value for Ambassador, which operates two small to mid-size ships whose environmental upgrades make them IMO Tier III compliant and place them in the top 10-15% of environmentally sustainable ships worldwide. Christian’s talks will also offer exclusive insights into Ambassador’s future plans, including fleet expansion, new destinations and more.
In addition, the sailings will offer guests the chance to meet Christian and Sally in a relaxed setting during Ambience’s onboard meet-and-greet cocktail parties.
The ORCA CEO Sailing is just one of 14 dedicated ORCA cruises that will sail under the premium-value, no-fly cruise brand’s colours this season. Ocean Conservationists will be joining guests onboard Ambience for seven itineraries sailing from Ambassador’s home port of London Tilbury, with her sister ship, Ambition – which entered service in May* – set to host a further seven departing ports around the UK.
These itineraries include ‘Ambience’s Grand Round the World Cruise’ in January 2024, which will see the charity visit parts of the globe for the very first time over the course of a 120-day itinerary – the longest time ORCA has ever committed to any cruise line for a single sailing. Incorporating important whale and dolphin habitats including some critically endangered populations that are in dire need of better protection, ports of call will include Blue Whale migratory routes around Australia and the East Indian Ocean; threatened Pygmy Blue Whale habitats in Sri Lanka; the nursery grounds of Southern Right Whales in South Africa; migratory routes for the endangered Oceania subpopulation of Humpback Whales near the Cook Islands; and the Panama Canal, one of the busiest shipping routes in the world where animals are at high risk of ship strike
Ambassador’s 2023/24 ORCA itineraries will total almost 500 days at sea, taking in a host of destinations and itineraries including the cruise line’s multi-generational cruises. The sailings will see ORCA’s experts collect important scientific data aimed at protecting sea life including whales, dolphins and porpoises as well as inviting guests to learn more about ocean conservation while onboard.
Each ORCA itinerary features an interactive education programme aimed at offering guests the opportunity to learn more about the marine environment, ranging from lectures and Q&As to simply spending time on deck to help travellers spot and identify the incredible range of life that can be seen at sea. Both ships are home to dedicated enrichment areas featuring a range of activities and educational materials focussed on whales and dolphins. These include the ORCA OceanWatchers app, which allows guests to try their hand at being an Ocean Conservationist, and information detailing how ORCA’s conservation programmes are working to protect sea life around the world.
The ‘Iceland’s Land of Ice & Fire’ sailing will take guests north to discover some of the most beautiful and remote landscapes on earth, from lush valleys, ice caps and active volcanoes to lively geysers, bubbling mud pools and hot springs. It will include a visit to Reykjavik, Iceland’s quirky and cosmopolitan capital city, with ports of call in the Faroe Islands, with their unique Viking culture and stunning land and seascapes.