Ecuadorian DMC Andean Travel Company (ATC) unveiled its new brand of sustainable cruises in the Galapagos islands: Oniric Cruises.
The announcement was made on January 23, 2022, at a cocktail event in Quito, Ecuador, where Oniric’s sister company, ATC, has its main headquarters. This was followed by a series of virtual presentations held with travel agents and industry partners from all over the world.
Oniric Cruises is not an entirely new cruise line, it inherits the full operation of ATC cruises, which has been sailing the Galapagos Islands since 2007, with one of the most varied fleets of small yachts there, and over 40,000 explorers served until January 2022.
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The brand’s transition resulted from deepening awareness by ATC’s team of the potential effects of climate change in the Galapagos, combined with the knowledge that the islands’ communities and environmental NGOs fully depend on the money generated by tourism.
To satisfy both realities, Oniric was born, preceded by two years of overhauling the fleet to make it as eco-friendly as possible, namely:
- Installing photovoltaic solar panels on board,
- Installing smart electrical systems to minimize energy waste,
- Building water desalination plants for onboard consumption.
- Establishing waste management protocols,
- Using biodegradable, non-toxic materials at dry docks,
- Choosing providers with verifiable environmental best practices,
- Purchasing carbon credits to offset the carbon footprint of cruises,
- Using only reusable water bottles onboard.
In addition to these necessary investments onboard, ATC/Oniric Cruises established permanent partnerships in 2021 with the Charles Darwin Foundation.
- In June 2021, Oniric Cruises (still ATC cruises at the time) donated 10,000 US$ to the Charles Darwin Foundation, an NGO that for 60 years has been the main advisor to the Ecuadorian government for the technical and scientific management of the Galapagos ecosystems. It was the first of a long-term sponsorship programme.
- As of January 2022, Oniric Cruises has budgeted a 30.000 US$ contribution to different NGOs and is looking forward to a long-lasting partnership with the Galapagos Conservation Trust. Oniric is convinced of the ability of the UK-based charity to carry out pioneering projects such as building a genetic library of all species of the Galapagos, mapping the movement of plastic pollution on ocean currents, and educating local children to cultivate a more environmentally-responsible generation.
Oniric Cruises offers a wide range of options catering to all different budgets and travel preferences, from spacious and comfortable catamarans to adventure-filled scuba diving liveaboards. All experiences are designed for a maximum group size of 16 passengers.
- Treasure: Oniric’s most spacious yacht, with solarium, jacuzzi, alfresco dining area, 8 ocean-view suites of 20m² each, and 1 master balcony suite of 40m².
- Solaris: 100% solo traveller-friendly, with 5 of its 11 cabins dedicated for single-use, of 26m² each. Crowd-free experiences at the outside bar or sundeck.
- Archipel I: An 8-member crew for its 8 oceanview cabins, ensuring a personalized experience. Also features a large solarium, shaded outdoor lounge, and alfresco dining.
- Aqua: Offering the best quality/price ratio in the Galapagos Islands for scuba diving adventurers, supported by 2 guides and more than 18 immersions per week.
The Oniric Cruises team is conscious that the international business community must be protected, and to this end, fair competition practices are continuously reinforced:
- Published rates are always even and official, to avoid undercutting. This way, clients can focus on the important aspects before making their cruise purchase decision: price, quality and level of customer service.
- To enhance the transparency of those aspects, Oniric Cruises is live on Google Reviews. This is an online resource beyond any business owners’ control, where consumers can write and read impartial perspectives on the level of service of registered companies.
- Aware that greenwashing is an occurring phenomenon in the travel industry, all advancements made by Oniric Cruises and its NGO partners towards environmental causes will be evidenced by publicly available information on a dedicated section of the company’s website.
Oniric Cruises’ efforts towards operational excellence are supported by a strong digital strategy:
- Consistent investment across digital channels to position the name of the company’s vessels and destination on global markets, with the goal of motivating potential consumers to book an Oniric cruise via their preferred travel agency.
- A B2B designed booking system provides real-time availability for all cruise departures from the present date up to 2 years in the future, and is loaded with features such as interactive itineraries, key vessel information, filters for faster searches, and expiring deals.
Explorers from all over the world can now directly contribute to the protection of the Galapagos environments and the development of its communities, by choosing to make a truly memorable journey onboard Oniric cruises.
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