Laura Del Rio Torres.
Laura Del Rio Torres. Supplied

Star Clippers commits to environment

CRUISE passengers on the tall ship Royal Clipper will have more chances to spot whales and dolphins and delve into the mysteries of marine biology in the Caribbean this year.

Star Clippers, operators of the world's largest fleet of luxury sailing ships Royal Clipper, Star Flyer and Star Clipper, have appointed Spanish-born Laura Del Rio Torres as marine biologist in residence for the Caribbean season.

A graduate of universities in Barcelona and New Jersey, Laura is fluent in Catalan, Spanish, and English, and is a former national champion swimmer and professionally trained dancer.

On board, Laura will give talks on marine wildlife, operate a daily whale and dolphin watch, lead beach walks and join guests on dives. She will also continue studies of the environment in which Royal Clipper sails.

Royal Clipper spends nearly five months a year (November to April) in the Caribbean sailing from Barbados on mainly seven-night cruises.

All three ships of the Star Clippers fleet, which are under sail for 70 per cent of their time at sea, have a strong focus on eco initiatives for both passengers and crew.

The ships use pure high-quality low-sulphur gas oil for engine power to reduce air pollution, and crews follow a 'reduce, re-use and recycle' policy, selecting only eco-friendly biodegradable products for cleaning.

Star Flyer also has a naturalist/marine biologist on board for its winter sailings in Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua advising passengers about the region's flora and fauna, volcanoes and cloud forests.

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