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Cruise Industry Making ‘Concrete Progress’ on Environmental and Sustainability Goals, CLIA Report Shows

The global cruise sector has shown “concrete progress” in advancing and improving environmental and sustainability standards, industry organisation Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has said.

In its newly-released 2023 Global Cruise Industry Environmental Technologies and Practices Report, CLIA said current order book data shows that cruise companies are continuing to invest in new vessels, with 44 new ships on order during the next five years, representing an investment of $62 billion since 2019.

Of these new ships, 25 will be LNG-powered and seven will be either methanol ready on delivery, or methanol capable, representing an investment in new engine technologies that will accelerate the maritime transition towards a future of low to zero carbon fuels.

Examples of progress, cited by CLIA, include the number of alternative fuels pilot programmes and trials currently in place with cruise ships.

“In addition, an increasing number of vessels sailing and launching over the next five years will either use alternative fuels or will be able to incorporate zero carbon fuels when they become available,” CLIA said.

The 2023 report also demonstrates other significant investments cruise lines are making to reduce emissions at berth and at sea, such as shoreside electricity, which allows cruise ships to switch off engines for significant emissions reduction while in port. More cruise lines are diversifying energy solutions by incorporating multi-fuel engines, trialing fuel cell technology, wind (including solid sail) technology, as well as photovoltaic solutions and battery storage for power shaving.

Efficiency tracking systems are now in use on 171 CLIA-memberships, representing 60% of the global fleet, with many more systems planned. In addition, cruise lines are pursuing fuel flexibility, investing today in propulsion technologies with conversion capabilities for the future—with 32 pilot projects and collaborative initiatives underway with sustainable fuel producers and engine companies.

President, and CEO, CLIA, Kelly Craighead said: “Cruise lines continue to transform the modern fleet to protect the oceans, air and destinations enjoyed by millions of passengers each year. Our data shows a step change in the uptake of new environmental technologies by our cruise line members. Already today cruise lines are building the ships of the future which will run on new, more sustainable engine technologies. The introduction of these new technologies and the many pilot programs and trials in place reveal how the cruise industry is an innovator and early adopter of technologies that are helping us sail to a more sustainable future.”

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.

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