(8:50 a.m. EDT) -- Azamara Club Cruises is furthering its partnership with the World Wildlife Fund by offering "World Wildlife at Sea," a passenger-focused education offering, on select cruises.
The programming will include a series of speakers featuring experts from the non-profit WWF, a leading international conservation organization. For example, WWF's manager of ranching and conservation will travel with cruisers to a dairy farm in Italy's Campania region and speak about different ways that farms meet the global food demand with less land and water.
"Both Azamara and WWF have similar missions to keep the oceans clean and safe for future generations," a representative for Azamara told Cruise Critic. "The ocean is what connects Azamara to each destination its ships visit and the brand is greatly committed to protecting it."
In tandem with the talks, each Azamara ship's environmental officer will connect interested passengers with crew members knowledgeable about Azamara's environmental efforts. The environmental officer will also organize in-port crew activities with organizations that further WWF's goals.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Azamara's parent company, has vowed to eliminate plastic straws from all ships by the end of 2018. The company is also looking at ways it can eliminate or reduce the use of other plastics, such as condiment packets, cups and bags. Plastic waste is a growing concern. A 2016 report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation says that a garbage truck of plastics is dumped into the ocean every minute.
--By Natalie Pompilio, Cruise Critic contributor