The goal is to make the increasing demand of cruise ships landings in Nature Parks and Protected Areas manageable.
The number of cruise ships in the high north has been growing rapidly in the past few years. Among them is a growing number of expedition ships that offer their passengers trips to new destinations, further away from populated areas. Protected areas are facing more and more interest from travelers on these ships and destinations in the wilderness are increasingly popular.
In 2019, 11 new expedition ships will be added to the fleet and by 2022, the total number of new specially designed expedition ships will reach 24 additional to those 80 already sailing. With a relatively short sailing season, lasting from June to late August, Arctic ports like Longyearbyen on Svalbard will likely be very crowded by 2022.
Other destinations in this fast-growing expedition market are northern Norway, Russia’s Franz Josef Land, Iceland, Greenland, Canada, and Alaska. From 1996 to 2017, the increase has been from 53 destinations to 216. Due to this growth, it is important for park managers/rangers in protected areas in the high north to find out how this growth should be managed, in order to protect the sensitive nature.
On the basis of various approaches, the participating experts are discussing the countries' current situation and working on policy advice on how landings from cruise ships should be managed in National Parks and other protected areas in the high north. Furthermore, they are formulating a proposal for amendments that can be used in existing regulation and will provide a solution for challenges relating to infrastructure.
Edda Kristín Eiríksdóttir (Iceland)
Hans Husayn Harmsen (Greenland)
Scott M. Gende (Alaska, U.S.)