By: Susan Hanson

Cruise lines and environmentally focused groups unite to celebrate and protect our planet.

Greening the Galápagos

Santa Cruz Island’s lush cloud forest is home to the largest of 15 Scalesia species found in the Galápagos. These native trees and shrubs, which provide sanctuary to numerous types of endemic birds, are often compared to Darwin’s finches for their remarkable adaptability to the archipelago’s different vegetation zones. Scalesia are among the 30,000-plus seedlings planted in Santa Cruz’s Los Gemelos highlands as part of an ongoing collaborative effort between Celebrity Cruises and Galápagos National Park. Celebrity passengers and crew members alike have taken part in the reforestation project, which aims to restore areas affected by humans and invasive plants. Their enthusiasm and hard work have helped the program exceed its initial goal by 150 percent so far.

A tree grows in the Galápagos. Photo by Celebrity Cruises.

Music of the Sphere

An indri – the world’s largest lemur – performing aerial acrobatics in Madagascar’s forest and a fearless giraffe escaping a lion trap set in the Namib desert are just a few of the stars in BBC Earth’s hit documentary series Planet Earth II. Their feats are even more amazing when accompanied by a live orchestra during Planet Earth II in Concert, now showing on most Holland America Line ships. The new multimedia production, which combines incredible nature footage from the series with music from Oscar winner Hans Zimmer, complements additional BBC Earth programming on board.

Planet Earth II in Concert. Photo by Holland America Line.Gauguin Gone Wild 

Protecting the world’s last intact wild places begins with education. Paul Gauguin Cruises’ Wildlife Discovery Series brings Merry Camhi, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Seascape program, aboard the 332-passenger Gauguin to share her research and insights on marine ecosystems during an eight-day Tahiti and Society Islands cruise.

Top photo: Courtesy of Paul Gauguin Cruises.