United Nations
Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators' Clean Seas Project
by Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) (Private sector)
The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) is an international association for expedition cruise operators in the Arctic and others who support our vision of responsible, environmentally friendly and safe tourism in the Arctic. AECO has signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Environment Programme and is contributing to the UN-led campaign Clean Seas to combat marine plastic pollution.
AECO is working to drastically cut back on single-use plastics on Arctic expedition cruise vessels, as well as enhance cruise passengers' involvement in regular beach cleanups. AECO will also focus on educating passengers, staff and the public on what can be done to prevent marine plastic pollution.
AECO is also working with International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) on this project, as many of the planned measures may be applied to expedition cruise ships in Antarctica as well as the Arctic. .
We are also focusing on educating passengers, ship crew and the public on what can be done to reduce single-use plastic consumption and prevent marine plastic pollution. To that effect, we are developing educational material such as guidelines and online outreach, as well as on board lectures. AECO’s Clean Seas Project aims to share best practices and successes that can be replicated elsewhere.
By reducing single-use plastic consumption, facilitating first-hand experiences of the extent of the marine litter problem in the Arctic and educating on its consequences, the shipborne expedition cruise industry is keen to demonstrate how industries can be driving forces in the fight against marine litter. Our set of best practices strive to be applicable to other industries as well as individuals, so our work will benefit a wider audience.
(photo: Adam Rheborg)

Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Coastal clean-ups
  • Plastics product bans or restrictions
  • Management of ship-based pollution and/or port waste management
Reduce single-use plastic on board expedition vessel
Enhance cleanup actions in Svalbard: passenger engagement, data on cleanups
Educational material
Financing (in USD)
310,000 USD
Basic information
Time-frame: May 2018 - April 2021
Aurora Expeditions (private), G Adventures (private), Hurtigruten (private), Lindblad Expeditions (private), Oceanwide Expeditions (private), Origo Expeditions (private), Quark Expeditions (private), Polar Quest (private), Hurtigruten Svalbard (private), 69 Nord (private), Silversea Cruises (private), Tallship Company (private), Albatros Travel (private), Hanse Explorer (private), Grands Espaces (private), Abercrombie &Kent (private), One Ocean Expeditions (private), Poseidon Expeditions (private), Algol Oceans (private), Noble Caledonia (private), Eyos Expeditions (private), Seabourn (private), Boreal Yachting (private), Aztec Lady (private), Ponant (private), Adventure Canada (private), Polar Kreuzfahrten (private), Zegrahm Expeditions (private), Natural World Safaris (private), Scenic Cruises (private), Arctic Sailing Escape (private), The World (private), Arctic Explorer (private), Viking Cruises (private), Mystic Cruises (private) Cruise Management International (private), Polaris Expeditions (private), V-Ships (private), Salen Ship Management (private), Vestland Marine (private), Ship to Shore (private), Air Greenland (private), Aker Arctic (private), Arctia (private), Arctic Adventure (private), Aventyrsresor (private), Beijing Tripolers (private), Beluga Expeditions (private), Cruise Iceland (private), Delver Agents (private), Glander Int. Bunkering (private), Grand Nord Grand Large (private), Guangzhou Jizhi Travel Serv. (private), Kontiki Reisen (private), North Atlantic Agency (private), OSK Ship Tech (private), PolarNews (private), Pole Position (private), Swoop Arctic (private), Trust Arcticugol (private), Wildfoot Travel (private),Tailor Made Journeys (private), Viking Ice Consultancy (private), Yacht Consulting Group (private), International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (private), Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund (Government), Norwegian Environment Agency (Government)
Ocean Basins
  • Arctic Ocean
  • North Atlantic
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Sarah Auffret, Environmental Agent, aeco@aeco.no, 0047 4074 7075
Tromso, Norway
Other SDGs
United Nations