AECO

The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) is an international association for expedition cruise operators operating in the Arctic and others with interests in this industry.

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The association was founded in 2003 and has since become an important organization representing the concerns and views of Arctic expedition cruise operators. AECO is dedicated to managing responsible, environmentally friendly and safe tourism in the Arctic and strive to set the highest possible operating standards.

The association’s geographical range is considered to encompass the Arctic area north of 60 degrees north latitude. The core areas are Svalbard, Jan Mayen, Greenland, Arctic Canada, the Russian Arctic National Park and Iceland.

The AECO Secretariat Staff

OUR OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES

To ensure that expedition cruises and tourism in the Arctic is carried out with the utmost consideration for the vulnerable, natural environment, local cultures and cultural remains, as well as the challenging safety hazards at sea and on land.

To be recognized as the primary organization representing the concerns and views of the expedition cruise tourism companies operating in the Arctic.

To agree upon and encourage the incorporation of specific standards and guidelines of operating expedition cruises in the Arctic.

To encourage the use of the highest qualified guides and staff knowledgeable and experienced in the Arctic environment, it’s natural and human history and contemporary culture.

To stimulate and encourage coordination among expedition cruise operators offering voyages to the Arctic.

To serve as a contact and advisory group to government ministries and agencies responsible for managing and regulating the lands, surrounding marine waters, and human activities in the Arctic

To interact with and maintain an open dialogue with non-governmental organizations interested in the Arctic.

To educate all interested groups and people about the Arctic and its unique environment, culture and natural history.

Community engagement

AECO’s Community Engagement Program is an innovative and collaborative program that engages with communities, stakeholders, visitors and tourist operators across the Arctic. The purpose of the program is to ensure that expedition cruise tourism in the Arctic is carried out in partnership and dialogue with local stakeholders.

MORE ON COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT›

Clean Seas

AECO is working with UN Environment to combat marine plastic pollution. As part of these efforts, AECO will work to drastically cut back on single-use plastics on Arctic expedition cruise vessels, as well as enhance cruise passengers’ involvement in regular beach cleanups.

 

MORE ON CLEAN SEAS› 

 

COVID-19 Situation

AECO is monitoring the development on COVID-19 in our Operational Area.

Here is our most recent WORD file update  (June 2) on the latest news, health advice, travel regulations and other relevant updates from Svalbard (incl. Norway), Greenland (incl. Denmark), Arctic Canada and Iceland.

 

Our Guidelines

visitors

Visitor Guidelines ›

General  guidelines for travelers visiting the Arctic.

YACHT GUIDELINES

For private yachts and sailboats.

CLEAN SEAS GUIDELINES

Combating marine plastic pollution.

Community Guidelines

Guidelines when visiting communities.

vEGETATION Guidelines

Preventing disturbance of Arctic plant life.

Cultural remains Guidelines

Stories from the past.

wildlifeWildlife Guidelines ›

Information and guidelines for encounters with Arctic wildlife.

BIOSECURITY GUIDELINES

Guidelines for protection of the environment.

operational

Operational Guidelines ›

Mandatory guidelines for tour operators that are members of AECO.

SITE GUIDELINES ›

Information and guidelines on selected and specific sites in the Arctic.

POLAR FIELD STAFF ONLINE ASSESSMENT ›

Online exams for guides and expedition leaders.

Events

Postponed: Fifth JOINT ARCTIC SAR WORKSHOP AND TTX 2020
Reykjavik, April 15-16, 2020 
AECO’s Arctic Cruise Conference and Annual meeting 2020
Oslo, October 14- 15, 2020
POLAR FIELD STAFF CONFERENCE
Polar Field Staff Conference, 2021

 

27.05.20:

AECO& IAATO developing field staff standards for the industry

AECO  in collaboration with IAATO – International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators – and joint members are meeting online these…

25.05.20:

Cruise workshop focusing on COVID-19 and sustainability

COVID-19 has hit the tourism industry in Greenland hard, and the outlook for the 2020 cruise season is uncertain. The…

15.05.20:

Virtual conference: COVID-19 Impacts in the Arctic

On May 19 AECO’s Executive Director Frigg Jørgensen will join as a panelist in a session about Economies of the…

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