Intrepid Travel has pledged to "decarbonise" its product portfolio by amending, or creating new, itineraries for many of its most popular tours with lower carbon outputs.
The operator’s decarbonisation plan includes removing flights of 90 minutes or less from its top 50 itineraries by the end of next year where feasible land and rail alternatives exist.
It has already replaced internal flights with high speed rail on the majority of its trips in China, and will seek to make similar changes to other itineraries.
Intrepid’s 12-day Beijing to Hong Kong Adventure will now feature four high speed rail journeys instead of flights, while the usual flight between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh on its six-day Premium Cambodia tour has been replaced by a boat ride up the Tonle Sap River.
Other decarbonisation efforts include identifying and contracting more accommodation powered by renewable energy, and trialling electric vehicles for transfers in destinations such as Jordan and Iran.
Speaking on Earth Day (22 April), Intrepid chief executive James Thornton said: "While reducing our carbon footprint has been a priority of our company for years, decarbonisation is becoming increasingly central in our product design now.
"As an industry, we must look beyond offsetting, advocacy and administrative green practices to focus on where we can have the most positive impact – our trips. Since the pandemic began, we’ve been passionately talking about the need for the travel industry to rebuild itself more responsibly. Now, we’re taking action."
Intrepid has been carbon neutral since 2010 and in October 2020 claimed a first by becoming the first operator to set itself verified science-based climate targets, aligned to the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5C and achieve climate neutrality worldwide by 2050.
Last year, Intrepid introduced more than 40 low-carbon tours, including new closer-to-home adventures and walking and cycling tours in the UK and elsewhere.