Costa Cruises has planted 100 young and organically certified olive plants in the magnificent Cinque Terre National Park, near Castagnoli di Riomaggiore.
Following Genoa’s Guinness World Record breaking twin christening of Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica on 5 June, Costa Cruises remains sensitive to environmental concerns by offsetting carbon dioxide emissions with the planting of 100 olive trees, repopulating 2,000 square metres of terraced land.
Costa Cruises believes in and actively promotes responsible tourism, with shore excursions organised in accordance with this priority and a variety of eco-tourism tour to parks, oases and nature reserves, featuring programmes that minimise the impact on the ecosystem and create economic opportunities for the local communities.
Environmental compliance has always been one of Costa Cruises’ distinguishing features remaining the only cruise company to have an environmental management system developed according to the latest international standards (UNI EN ISO 14001 2004), and witnessed by a Social and Environmental Report drawn up according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines and certified by RINA (Italian Register of Shipping).
In 2005 Costa Cruises was the first company in the world in to receive the “Green Star” award from RINA (Italian Register of Shipping), a major recognition of its respect for environmental standards relating to the prevention of air and sea pollution, a guideline stricter than the prevailing provisions of the international MARPOL Convention. Further confirmation of its commitment to environmental protection comes from its 2005 partnership with W.W.F. Italia for the conservation and protection of the sea, dedicated this year to a conservation project for the Mediterranean Sea.
In 2007 Costa Cruises endorsed the very first version of the voluntary “Venice Blue Flag” agreement designed to safeguard the environment and heritage of Venice. The initiative, which is transmitted by the local Municipality, Harbor Master’s Office and Port Authority, is designed to reduce air emissions. Under the terms of this major environmental undertaking, Costa Cruises, along with the other signatories to the agreement, adopts standards for all its ships calling in Venice that are actually stricter than the environmental compliance provisions currently in force.
For three consecutive editions since 2005, the Swiss branch of the tour operator Kuoni has bestowed on Costa Cruises the Green Planet Award, the highest seal of eco-approval in the travel and tourism sector, for the exemplary ecological management and performance of its ships, aimed at minimising their environmental impact.
The Cinque Terre National Park Five fishing villages tenaciously clinging to jagged rocks. Winding alleys snaking around pastel-coloured houses, all huddled together and reaching for the sky. Steep
flights of stairs leading to small natural terraces with sheer drops to the sea below.
Picturesque churches caressed by the waves and even castles with high stone walls and towers; reminders of the Saracen incursions that tormented life in the Middle Ages. Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare are surrounded by long terraces supported by dry stone walls, cultivated with vines, olive trees and lemon trees, and many miles of winding paths, running along the coast, at different heights above sea level, through the vivid and iridescent green of the sweet-smelling Mediterranean maquis. This is Cinque Terre. Just a few kilometres of land in eastern Liguria, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, transformed just a few months later into the first protected marine area and then into a national park. A special place where there are no extremes, where farmers are fishermen, and the mountains tumble down to the sea. A forward-looking area that hasn’t forgotten its identity, presenting its rural history, its ancient rituals, crafts and traditions, including its food and wine, as the primary attractions for intelligent and sustainable forms of tourism. www.parconazionale5terre.it cruises.