AECO’s guidelines are in many ways the association’s backbone and very important tools to achieve the objectives to ensure that cruise tourism in the Arctic is carried out with the utmost consideration of the natural environment, local cultures, as well as challenging safety hazards at sea and on land. But AECO’s objectives and strategies stretches further and the association is involved in many activities.


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.


  • Frigg Jørgensen, Executive Director
  • Anders la Cour Vahl, Deputy Director
  • André Skrivervik, Director of Administration and Human Resources
  • Melissa Nacke, Head of Operations
  • Troels Jacobsen, Field Operations Manager
  • Aga Nowak, Environmental Specialist
  • Maria Florencia Becherini, Office Manager
  • Anne Øien, Head of Communications
  • Gyða Guðmundsdóttir, Head of Community Engagement

Read more about the secretariat ›

Committees AND working  GROUPS

Executive Committee

  • Karin Strand, Hurtigruten Expeditions (chair)
  • Alana Bradley-Swan, Adventure Canada (vice chair)
  • Maarten van der Duijn Schouten, Cape Race Corporation
  • Jennifer Martin, Seabourn
  • Peter Garapick, Quark Expeditions

Election Committee

  • Tudor Morgan, Hurtigruten (chair)
  • Alana Bradley-Swan, Adventure Canada

Bylaws Committee

  • Bob Simpson, Silversea Cruises (chair)
  • Steve Wellmeier, Poseidon Expeditions (co-chair)
  • Annika Rautiola, Ponant
  • Peter Garapick, Quark Expeditions
  • Jørn Henriksen, Viking Cruises

Membership Committee

  • Sebastian Charge,  Adventure Canada (chair)
  • Tudor Morgan, Hurtigruten Expeditions
  • Tomas Holik, Aurora Expeditions
  • Nikolay Zakharov, Poseidon Expeditions

Guidelines Committee

  • Adam Turner, Oceanwide Expeditions (chair)
  • Kara Weller, Seabourn
  • Henrik Törnberg, Polar Quest
  • Heike Fries, Hapag Lloyd
  • Alastair Newton, Hurtigruten Expeditions
  • Daniil Elterman,  Silversea Cruises
  • Laura Macfarlane, Lindblad Expeditions
  • Bella Bakurova, Poseidon Expeditions
  • Henry Pall, Quark Expeditions

Marine Committee

  • William Bennett, Quark Expeditions (chair)
  • Thilo Natke, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
  • Claus Andersen, Hurtigruten Expeditions
  • Prash Karnik, Lindblad Expeditions
  • Stanislav Kozhuharov, Silversea Cruises
  • Etienne Garcia, Ponant
  • Nikolay Zakharov, Poseidon Expeditions
  • Patrick Kilbane, Seabourn

Yacht Committee

  • Arthur Voirin, Polaris Expeditions (chair)
  • Maarten van der Dujin Schouten, Cape Race Coorporation
  • Christian Engelke, PolarQuest

Compliance and Dispute Resolution Committee

  • David Ainsworth, Quark Expeditions (chair)
  • Annika Rautiola, Ponant
  • Alistair Newton, Hurtigruten Expeditions
  • Tomas Holik, Aurora Expeditions
  • Bob Simpson, Silverseas
  • Nikolay Zakharov, Poseidon Expeditions
  • Jørn Henriksen, Viking Cruises

Community Engagement Committee

  • Tony Nguyen, Ponant (chair)
  • Arne Kertelhein, Hapag Lloyd
  • Jennifer Martin, Seabourn
  • Laura Macfarlane, Lindblad Expeditions
  • Benjamin Bradley, Quark Expeditions
  • Karin Strand, Hurtigruten Expeditions
  • Justin Poulsen, Silversea Cruises

Communications Working Group

  • Danique van Burken, Oceanwide
  • Nicolas Singh, Quark Expeditions
  • Vladimir Rajevac, Adventure Canada
  • Daria Nilsen, Poseidon

Climate change Working Group

  • Tudor Morgan, Hurtigruten Expeditions
  • Johanna Vakkila, PolarQuest
  • Leif Skog, Lindblad Expeditions
  • Wassim Daoud, Ponant
  • Pamela Le Noury, Noble Caledonia
  • Lyndsey Lewis, Quark Expeditions
  • Richard del Valle, Silverseas

Clean Seas Working Group

  • Delphine Aures, Ponant
  • Lyndsey Lewis, Quark Expeditions
  • Verana Meraldi, Hurtigruten Expeditions
  • Shaun Powell, Seabourn
  • Jiajing Yang, Poseidon
  • Prash Karnik, Lindblad Expeditions
  • Birgit Lutz, Cape Race Coorporation
  • Richard del Valle,  Silverseas


  • AECO’s Annual Arctic cruise conference
  • IAATO and AECO Joint Polar field staff conferences
  • Joint Arctic SAR workshop and TTX


AECO has extensive involvement in relevant research projects and citizen science. Learn more here.

Clean Seas  Efforts

  • Read about AECO’s efforts to combat marine plastic pollution here.


  • AECO supports a ban on use and carriage of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic and has signed the “The Arctic Commitment”, which calls for a phase-out of polluting heavy fuel oil (HFO) from Arctic shipping.
  • AECO has signed the Travel & Tourism Declaration on Illegal Wildlife Trade, a commitment to participate actively in the global fight against illegal wildlife trade.
  • AECO has banned the recreational use of drones by passengers traveling with AECO vessels.


  • Arctic cruise database
  • Vessel tracking
  • Field Staff Online Assessment
  • Off-vessel risk assessment tool
  • Observer scheme
  • More than 50 guidelines for expedition cruise operations in the Arctic
  • AECO’s Clean Seas project
  • AECO’s Community Engagement project


AECO advocates for the Arctic expedition cruise industry and have been involed in numerous policies -, management- and regulatory processes. Our involvement is connected to environmental -, safety and maritime issues, as well as community engagement and general issues.  AECO can provide competence and information on expedition cruise tourism in the Arctic and has been  invited to serve on committees and experts groups.

groups and committees

    • Svalbard Prepardness Council
    • International Hydrographic Organisation
    • National committee considering search and rescue in Norway and Svalbard


AECO works with many stakeholders and inter alia have a strong cooperation with:

  • IAATO – International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators
  • CLIA – Cruise Liners International
  • Visit Svalbard
  • Visit Greenland
  • Cruise Iceland
  • North Atlantic Agency
  • Governor of Svalbard
  • Government of Nunavut
  • Arctic Council, PAME – Protection of the Arctic Environment working group
  • Arctic Council, EPPR – Emergency Polution Protection Response working group
  • Joint Rescue Coordination Center Northern Norway
  • Norwegian Coast Guard
  • Icelandic Coast Guard
  • Joint Arctic Command
  • Canadian Coast Guard
  • Norwegian Coastal Administration
  • Norwegian Polar Institute
  • Norwegian Nature Research Institute
  • National Canadian Research Institute
  • Norwegian Arctic University
  • Nord University
  • Campus Kujalleq, Greenland
  • Greenland National Museum and Archives
  • Various research and educational institutions
  • Various destination stakeholder

Present ongoing projects

  • ARCSAR  – Arctic and North Atlantic Search and Rescue Coordination, 21 international partners
  • INTERACT – Building an Arctic integrated reseach structure, involving major research institutions in the Arctic
  • NEPTUNE – Utilizing expedition cruise vessels in Arctic oil spill prepardness and response, together with EPPR and the Norwegian Coastal Administration
  • Balancing Act – Balancing tourism development with political objectives and climate change. Involving Nord University, UNIS, Visit Svalbard and other partners
  • Guidelines as management tool in Arctic tourism – involving PAME
  • AECO’s Clean Seas project – involving local stakeholders, IAATO and UN Environment
  • AECO’s Community Engagement Project – involving local stakeholders and other partners
  • AECO’s Citizen Science project
  • Crowd sourcing of depth sounding
  • Marine Mammal Sighting project – collecting observations for the Norwegian Polar Institute and others


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