Cruise Europe calls for joint environmental strategy

Cruise Europe has called for all stakeholders in the cruise industry to collaborate to protect the environment. The conference also reinforced the importance of cruise lines alleviating public concern about ships’ impact on the environment by outlining the actions they have taken to minimise their footprint.

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The Cruise Europe conference was held in Zeebrugge, Belgium from 2-7 March and focused on making the cruise industry more sustainable. A record number of people attended this year, including cruise line executives, media and representatives from European Sea Ports Organisation and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Many ports are facing reduced calls due to local restrictions, such as reduced emissions in the Norwegian fjords and Amsterdam’s US$8 tax per passenger. Speakers at the conference spoke about the need to address the issues and find solutions for protecting the environment and business.

“In a lot of ports and regions assumptions are being made without scientific facts, and restrictions are being implemented on the cruise lines without proper consultation,” said Michael McCarthy, chairman of Cruise Europe. “We are not being given the information by the cruise lines and CLIA in order to respond to [local and regional] issues. Cruise lines must share information with us. There is a basket of solutions which, when taken together, can solve the sustainability issues.”

Hernan Zini, vice president of worldwide port operations at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, highlighted the opportunity that cruise lines have to educate the public with their ships. Other representatives from other cruise lines at the event offered to educate stakeholders onboard during port calls.

Chris Millman, vice president of corporate marine technology at Carnival Corporation, presented findings from a scientific study on advanced air quality systems and exhaust gas cleaning systems. The report showed that they are a safe and comply with the International Maritime Organization’s wash water guidelines regarding the 2020 sulphur cap.

Source: Cruise and Ferry.net website

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