While cruising in the waters of the Flores and Bali Seas in Indonesia, Panaroma II Captain Antoniou Leontios decided to dedicate a few hours every week to dropping anchor in a bay, venturing ashore with some crew members and filling as many bin bags as possible with rubbish which he then stows on board and disposes at his next port of call.
‘It seemed the right thing to do,’ Leontios said. ‘The sea and the natural beauty of beaches and islands is the livelihood for myself and my crew. We need to respect and protect them and whilst our passengers are off sight-seeing, we thought we’d do our bit.
‘When Panorama II’s passengers discovered what the crew were doing they, too, wanted to get involved,’ Leontios said. ‘News soon got around and next time we planned a stop we were joined by eight guests. It’s now become a feature of our week – so much so we’re going to print beach cleanup T-shirts to give to anybody who joins us.’
Variety Cruises UK's MD, Chris Lorenzo commented, ‘We have already started eliminating single-use plastic from our fleet,’ adding, ‘As for the beach cleanup program, our vessels are uniquely placed to do something practical. We only have small ships of 50-70 passengers so we can get close up to beaches and moor anywhere.’