Some question the sustainability of ferry operations, and in this case mini-cruise too, but let’s hear from Tallink Silja Line about the incredible, diverse and broad policies and actions they are taking to protect the Baltic Sea, the environment, marine life and the places they operate: Estonia, Finland, Aland and Sweden. Here is Sustainable Journeys Q&A with Olga Vanbergen of Tallink Silja Line.
The Best Tourism Villages initiative by UN Tourism, formerly known as the World Tourism Organization, is a significant step in the evolution of sustainable and rural tourism. Launched in 2021, this innovative programme aims to identify, recognise, and promote villages that exemplify the principles of sustainability, cultural richness, and community involvement in tourism.
‘Other countries have saunas, but nowhere has sauna culture like here in Finland. Elsewhere it’s a business model: in Finland it’s a way of life,’ says Alexander Markus Lembke, sitting in the yard outside the sauna where he works in Tampere, the Nordic nation’s second city and self-proclaimed ‘sauna capital of the world.’
It’s seven in the evening, early July, and I’m sitting on a jetty on the edge of a lake in eastern Finland, dressed only in a towel around my waist. Occasionally an agreeable waft of birch wood smoke drifts over my head from the sauna, located at the top of a short flight of wooden steps. The lake is settling into a glassy mirror, but the sun is still high in the warm northern sky.
Call it what you will – green, eco, responsible or sustainable travel – we want to know that everything we’re doing, where we’re staying and what we’re eating is not having a detrimental impact on the beautiful places we’re visiting. We also want to know that our time spent in the destination will contribute directly to the local economy and benefit its communities.
I’m looking out of my window in Helsinki just after Christmas at a fabulous frost-bound fantasy. The boughs of the birch tree in our yard are drooping under heavy snow and a knee-deep carpet of white extends to the street. An enormous hare, its fur turned seasonally pale, is nibbling at the seeds I’ve scattered for the birds.
In the heart of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula lies Marquette County, a hidden gem where the splendour of dense forests, tranquil lakes, and quaint historic towns converge. This idyllic destination has long beckoned travellers with its promise of adventure and cultural richness. However, as its popularity as a tourist hotspot grows, so does the need for sustainable and respectful tourism practices.
Let’s not start talking about Marquette, Michigan’s robust, innovative farm-to-table scene without first establishing a shared lexicon—we need to pin down words like tenacity, grit, and maybe even gumption. This is the language that captures what it’s like to stare down a growing season strangled by epic winters, the supply chain challenges of living three hours off the nearest interstate, and still have the farmer’s audacity to say…