Cooperation with St1

Polaris 1 drone shot ©Fabian Schönenberger

The translated article from St1 website

Ecological tourism without compromising comfort

Open Shores Saimaa cruise ship, the Polaris 1, represents the company’s commitment to sustainable development. The 18-meter vessel was originally a maintenance vessel for the Defence Forces but has now been converted for tourist use. The vessel’s Valmet 612 diesel engine runs on St1’s renewable HVO diesel. In addition, the ship’s heating system and water heater have been optimized for renewable diesel.

In addition to ecological considerations, the vessel has also been designed for passenger comfort: in addition to four cabins, the vessel also has sauna and sanitary facilities and a fully equipped kitchen. Matti and Jyri’s motto is to leave no waste behind – so all rubbish generated on board is recycled and a single-use culture is avoided. Biodegradable detergents are used in the washrooms and local, fresh ingredients are used in the kitchen.

The activities offered to tourists during cruises are also chosen to minimize the impact on nature while maximizing its enjoyment. Cruise passengers can enjoy activities such as fishing, kayaking, SUP boarding, climbing, hiking, and swimming. A cruise on board the Polaris 1 on the peaceful Saimaa is guaranteed to be a unique experience for both domestic and foreign travelers.

“St1’s renewable diesel is the best propulsion for us”

“When I started looking at how our 30-tonne ship Polaris 1 could be moved as cleanly as possible, the first thing that came to mind was electricity. However, the cost of electrifying our vessel would have been far too high for us.

Moreover, after studying the issue, I learned that the emissions from an electric vessel would not be any lower than other alternatives – they would just be transferred to other parts of the world,” says Jyri.

Interest in responsible tourism

Open Shores Saimaa’s objectives include the Visit Finland sustainable tourism label. An important step on this path is the Good Travel Seal certification, which is on the horizon. Demand for ecological and sustainable tourism is growing, and the summer season is becoming a busy one for Open Shores Saimaa’s business.

The cruise tourism business is at its busiest during the popular holiday months of July and August, but the adventures of the Polaris 1 will continue well into the summer and autumn. “Last autumn we were still taking customers on overnight cruises at the end of October. This is a wonderful and untapped period in Saimaa tourism,” Jyri tips.

St1 article (in Finnish) about us here

Polaris 1 at Lake Saimaa © Matti Keltanen

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“With my adventure background I should be able to provide some fun insights about the Lake Saimaa, Finland and our cruise services.”

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