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07 May 2021


by Filippos Venetopoulos, CEO Variety Cruises
Members of the Variety Cruises ship on the deck

Variety Cruises (formerly Zeus Tours at its time) was the first, small boat company to share the history of the Greek Islands with the world. As the company and its family tradition enters its third generation of leadership, we remain committed to our promise as pioneers of sustainability, becoming the first cruise line worldwide to join TOURISM DECLARES.

In 1949 following the war, our founder Diogenis Venetopoulos —a historian turned tour guide— had a vision to share the world through his eyes, aboard small wooden boats that explored the seas. As a true pioneer in his industry, even then sustainability was at the core of his vision. He was a man that was climate-positive; a man before his time.

Sustainability has been a key pillar of our company for over half a century. From baby steps that included protecting cultural heritage and visiting UNESCO sites, to actively engaging with research on biodegradable materials and protecting sea-life while supporting the health of our oceans; we have always been proactive. Now, given the opportunity to join an organization that supervises, supports and connects like-minded organizations with the common goal of lowering carbon emissions was a natural collaboration for us. The time, energy, and resources invested are positively outweighed by the benefits of the mission. So, we decided to publicly join TOURISM DECLARES CLIMATE EMERGENCY not only as a follower, but as a leader within the cruise industry, paving the way with our efforts.

We know that we have a long way to go, and do admit that our industry has contributed in the global increase of carbon emissions, and this is why this action is timely and. Necessary. Our room for improvement is an opportunity, that we choose to grasp. We strive to grow, learn, adapt and foresee how we can remain faithful to our promise. For instance, the pandemic took us a step back in terms of our single use plastic policy in order to protect our guests and team from infection. Now, as we learn more we adapt to our sustainability goals and general policy, returning to ‘no single use plastic’ in a series of safe steps.

We hereby commit to developing an transparent, practical and functional 12-month plan that will guide the way for lowering carbon emissions, while remaining committed to our additional sustainability initiatives including no single use plastic and ethical food sourcing. We hope our commitment will shed light for other operators within the travel industry and beyond to follow.

We look forward to joining forces as we take the next steps in monitoring our impact on the environment with ships running on marine diesel oil, reducing plastic waste via our single use plastic reduction plan, and further developing our beach clean-up initiatives, while adhering to the most stringent policies on waste management; all in all developing a concise plan that will lower carbon emissions and provide a platform for other climate-positive cruise lines to follow suit.


Like all signatories, we have committed to the following five actions:

  1. Develop a ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ within the next 12 months, which sets out our intentions to reduce carbon emissions over the next decade.
  2. Share an initial public declaration of our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’, and update on progress each year.
  3. Accept current IPCC advice stating the need to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030 in order to keep the planet within 1.5 degrees of warming. We’ll ensure our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ represents actions designed to achieve this as a minimum, through delivering transparent, measurable and increasing reductions in the total carbon emissions per customer arising from our operations and the travel services sold by us.
  4. Encourage our suppliers and partners to make the same declaration; sharing best practice amongst peers; and actively participate in the Tourism Declares community
  5. Advocate for change. We recognize the need for system change across the industry to accelerate a just transition towards carbon-free tourism.

Please consider also declaring at

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A logo with the words "Tourism Declares A Climate Emergency" on a greek rocky island background

The Galileo ship sailing in the ocean

A group of people cleaning up a beach

Filippos Venetopoulos, CEO of Variety Cruises


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