6 Eco-Friendly Ocean Vacations to Book Right Now
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Enjoy an unforgettable vacation and help save the world all at the same time.

1. Sail Sustainably

Galapagos

Sitting at the intersection of seven ocean currents, the Galapagos is a remote archipelago with some of the most unique marine species in the entire world - think marine iguanas, Galapagos green turtles, hammerhead sharks and seahorses, to name a few. There's no better way to explore the Galapagos' tropical Pacific waters than aboard Ecoventura, a fleet of sustainable mega-yachts, including the MV ORIGIN and MV THEORY, appropriately named after Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species and Theory of Evolution. These eco-friendly vessels, some of most energy efficient in the region, offer two unique, seven-night itineraries to the world's most secluded beaches, putting travelers face-to-face with sea lions and blue footed boobies. To protect the region's oceans and its unique species, Ecoventura and the World Wildlife Fund created a partnership back in 2010 to benefit the Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund. Nowadays, travelers can learn about ocean conservation when they set sail with rewnowed marine biologist Jack Grove on speciality cruises offered Sept. 23 - Oct. 7, 2018.

2. Restore Coral Reefs

Curaçao

It may be hard to believe, but the ABC island of Curaçao has almost as many colors hiding beneath its turquoise blue oceans than are represented in the iconic Handelskade backdrop. The tiny, yet bustling, island only measures 172 square miles, but this hidden gem in the Dutch Antilles boasts more than 65 distinct dive sites, rivaling some of the best dive destinations in the world. To protect Curaçao's oceans and keep the reefs healthy, the Coral Restoration Foundation created a "Coral Tree Nursery" in the Lions Dive & Beach Resorthouse reef. The Nursery - just a quick swim from shore - features 10 Coral Trees made of PVC pipe and floating buoys. In the past three years, the organization has grown and re-planted more than 4,000 staghorn and elkhorn coral fragments back into the island's existing reefs. Additionally, a few weeks ago, the organization partnered with a new affiliate, Atlantis Diving Curaçao, to launch another mini coral tree nursery with six coral trees.

3. Save Sea Turtles

Barbados & Jupiter Beach, Florida

The eastern-most Caribbean island of Barbados is home to more turtles than any other island in the region. From native leatherbacks and hawksbill turtles to the colorful sponges and flying fish, Barbados' oceans are teeming with lively marine life. Situated on a 1,500 foot-stretch of pearly white coastline is Turtle Beach Resort, the Green Globe-certified, family friendly all-inclusive. In collaboration with the Barbados Sea Turtle Project, the resort’s expert team of “Turtle Pioneers” as they’re affectionately called, teach guests about marine conservation and how to reduce their carbon footprint. During the summer months, guests are likely to spot hundreds of sea turtle hatchlings, and can help the Turtle Pioneers in leading the baby turtles by flashlight back to the ocean after they've hatched. Finally, eco-conscious travelers can partake in periodic beach cleanups to keep Barbados' shores tidy and the oceans free of debris.
Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa is an idyllic escape for travelers looking to give back on World Oceans Day while indulging in plenty of sand, sun and wellness opportunities. At Jupiter’s only oceanfront resort, travelers can take in the rays on the property’s secluded beach, practice their backswing on tennis courts, unwind with cocktails in the adults-only hammock garden, or indulge in ocean-inspired treatments at the incredible Opal Spa. Jupiter’s beaches are known for their warm, clear waters that are enveloped by dunes, mangroves and sea grape trees and are home to sea turtles. Guests of Jupiter’s only oceanfront resort can give back to the ocean’s native animals and book the resort's ‘Stay & Save the Sea Turtles’ package and get a portion of proceeds from their visit donated to the local Loggerhead Marinelife Center, adopting a sea turtle in their name. Sea turtle season is a big draw every summer for and travelers can spot sea turtle hatchings at night on the resort’s beach during nesting season or swim among them in the water.

4. Say Goodbye to Plastics

Key Largo, FL

The eco-chic Playa Largo Resort & Spa, an Autograph Collection Hotel, was the first hotel built in the Upper Keys in more than 21 years, and is historically the most eco-friendly company to ever exist in the Florida Keys. Thanks to the property’s food composter, natural gumbo limbo trees, mangroves and sustainable features (like 90% of guest rooms having showers), Playa Largo keeps it green and clean. As one of the only beachfront properties in the Florida Keys, guests can enjoy the cool waters and may even spot a friendly family of manatees that hang out near the watersports dock. To protect Florida’s manatees and marine animals from plastic choking hazards, the resort said bye bye to disposable water bottles and invested in large, reusable glass water bottles. Every room comes with two, so travelers can take the bottles anywhere they go. Fun fact: most hotels spend 35-40 cents per bottle on in-room reusable bottles, but Playa Largo’s water bottles cost $6 each, a small price to pay for keeping Florida’s waters safe and sound.

5. Preserve and Restore the Gulf Coast

Clearwater Beach, FL

There is no better place to spend World Ocean Day than at Sandpearl Resort, the first Silver LEED-certified resort in Florida dedicated to preserving the beauty and ecosystems of the Gulf Coast. Just minutes away from the hotel, Sandpearl Resort partners with Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where injured marine life are rescued and nursed back to health by aquarium staff and volunteers. Guests can visit all of the resident sea animals (including five different species of turtles, three dolphins, sea otters, and more). Guests who fall in love with newfound sea-friends can even adopt them through Clearwater Marine Aquarium in which their donation will cover a rescued animals needs for a year.

6. Participate in Marine Adventure Camp

The Bahamas

Atlantis Paradise Island is launching a summer-long Marine Adventure Camp designed to educate young children on the importance of protecting our world's waters. Led by in-house marine experts, campers will be transformed into "Junior Aquarists" and "Marine Mammal Specialists." Highlights from the five-day program include feeding sharks and stingrays, snorkeling among live coral reefs and exclusive behind-the-scenes experience with rescued Hurricane Katrina dolphins and sea lions. Campers will also visit the resort’s online Coral Reef Nursery and Fish Hospital and learn to become mini chefs through sessions in the Fish Kitchen.