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AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators)


AECO & Oceanwide

AECO is an international organization for Arctic cruise operators of which Oceanwide Expeditions is a proud member. We are not only dedicated to implementing the environmental regulations set by AECO, but we as members help establish these regulations.

Oceanwide deploys safe, environmentally sound expeditions to the Arctic. We feel strongly that tourism there must be carried out with the utmost respect for the environment, its cultures, and its historic remains – in addition to the natural Arctic safety hazards.

Oceanwide’s commitment to plastic reduction

One facet of our partnership with AECO is our devotion to reducing disposable plastics on all of our vessels. We consider this a top priority and are currently phasing out such unnecessary plastics as soap dispensers and single-use cups.

We also organize beach cleanups to remove plastics from the Arctic coastline, recruiting all passengers willing to lend a hand. These industrious groups remove fishing nets and other debris that have such a harmful impact on Arctic wildlife.

AECO's Clean Seas project.

In the summer of 2018, for example, Oceanwide and other AECO members orchestrated a combined 128 cleanups that removed over 40 tons of Arctic refuse. This was facilitated by groups like the Norwegian coast guard, Svalbard’s local sports association, and other cruise parties.

AECO refuse documentation and analysis

In addition to cleaning up Arctic waste, Oceanwide also helps AECO study where that waste comes from. Efforts to document the composition and distribution of plastics has revealed that at least 70% of Arctic litter comes from fisheries.

More about AECO

Founded in 2003, AECO is composed of 17 companies from seven countries operating a total of 24 vessels. These vessels include anything from small sailing yachts to 320-passenger cruise ships. AECO’s jurisdiction currently includes Svalbard, Jan Mayen, and Greenland.

AECO guidelines

AECO guidelines can be downloaded in three languages (French, German, Norwegian) hereOceanwide Expeditions is obliged to follow these guidelines on our trips in the Arctic.