Cruise lines are increasingly recognizing the importance of celebrating indigenous cultures and traditions as part of their travel experiences. In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Cruise Critic has highlighted various ways in which cruise lines are incorporating indigenous elements into their voyages. This trend reflects travelers’ growing desire for authentic and culturally rich experiences in the destinations they visit. Here are some examples of how cruise lines are embracing indigenous cultures:
Mainstream Cruise Lines Feature Indigenous Speakers, Artists, and Performers:
- Celebrity Cruises: On Alaska sailings, Celebrity showcases native culture with Tlingit artists displaying traditional carvings and patterns, as well as cultural performances.
- Disney Cruise Line: Offers passengers the chance to learn about Tlingit and Haida traditions on shore excursions in Ketchikan, Alaska.
- Seabourn: Features cultural stops in Klemtu, British Columbia, highlighting Canada’s Indigenous peoples on select itineraries.
Luxury Line Paul Gauguin Dives Deep into Polynesian Culture:
- Paul Gauguin operates one ship in the South Pacific and has a signature program with Polynesian cultural ambassadors, Les Gauguines and Les Gauguins, who are actively involved in various aspects of the cruise experience, including entertainment, lectures, and presentations.
Expedition Cruise Lines Hire Indigenous Guides and Arrange Authentic Experiences:
- Lindblad Expeditions: Makes a conscious effort to arrange for indigenous naturalists, cultural guides, and guest speakers as Culture Ambassadors on relevant itineraries. They engage with local indigenous people for lectures, guides, and cultural experiences.
- Quark Expeditions: Employs indigenous Inuit staff as Cultural Educators on cruises to Nunavut and Greenland. They also offer an Inuit culinary experience called “Tundra to Table” during select itineraries.
- Viking: While not fully staffed with indigenous members, Viking offers excursions that explore aspects of First Nation/American Indian culture on its Great Lakes expedition cruises.
These cruise lines are taking steps to provide travelers with a more immersive and culturally enriching experience, promoting understanding and appreciation of indigenous cultures around the world. As travelers seek authenticity in their destination experiences, it’s encouraging to see cruise lines embracing and celebrating indigenous heritage.
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