The Sustainable River Cruise Project

The Sustainable River Cruise Project

In this former project, the TreadRight Foundation worked with The Travel Foundation to develop a ‘Sustainable River Cruising Pack,’ that is available alongside its other free tools to benefit the wider industry.


River cruising is becoming increasingly popular, yet the environmental impact is poorly understood and documented. Due to its all-inclusive nature, more and more people are choosing river cruising as a form of accommodation over a hotel. Despite this, very little guidance exists to allow river cruise operators to measure and regulate their own boat’s environmental impact.

Uniworld, a leading river cruise company, has been working with TreadRight and The Travel Foundation on a project to help monitor, and ultimately reduce, the environmental impact which cruising can have upon rivers and the surrounding habitats.


The Sustainable River Cruising Project has documented and provided measures to reduce the environmental impact of cruising. The project focused on some of the world’s most geographically, historically and culturally rich rivers, including the Nile, in Africa the Danube, the Rhone and the Rhine in Europe.

Based on the results from the project, The Travel Foundation was able to develop the first-of-its-kind Environmental Sustainability for River Cruising guide offering best practices to river cruise operators worldwide on how to operate with as little environmental impact as possible. The guide was designed to support the river cruise tourism industry around the world in working towards a sustainable future by identifying strategies to reduce water and energy use, and waste generation on river cruise ships.


This project encourages river cruising companies to adopt sustainable practices and be able to track and report on sustainability information. These best practices can be implemented to protect life below water and lessen the environmental impacts of river cruising.

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