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MSC Cruises to Become First Fully Carbon Neutral Major Cruise Line



MSC Cruises announced Friday that it was committed to becoming the world’s first fully carbon neutral major cruise line.

During the debut celebration for the MSC Grandiosa, the cruise line revealed that starting on January 1, 2020, the company will purchase enough credits from companies that absorb carbon dioxide to offset all of the carbon emissions from its 17 ships while at sea.

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In total, the plan will offset 2.2 million tons of carbon emissions per year.

MSC Cruises Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago revealed the project has been in the works for a decade, but officials are still looking for the best course of action when determining which projects it will support.

“Our focus on innovation, since we built our first cruise ships only in 2003, ensures that we have one of the most modern fleets at sea as well as one of the highest environmentally performing,” Vago said in a statement. “And, thanks to our long-term planning, this will allow us to already achieve a fleet-wide 29 percent reduction in carbon intensity (rate) by 2024 vs. 2008, on our way to meet the 40 percent reduction target set for 2030.”

“Additionally, last week we announced that the LNG-powered fuel cells PACBOAT project will be hosted onboard MSC Europa – the first of 5 LNG-powered cruise ships that are due to join our fleet,” Vago continued. “This is not only a world-first for a technology that promises to be most efficient for high-power maritime operations but also yet another concrete example of our firm commitment to partner and support the accelerated development of the next-generation technologies that will lead us and this industry to zero-emissions ship operations.”

The cost associated with the carbon offset projects developed according to the highest standards will be covered directly and in full by MSC Cruises. The plan is to support the restoration of the ocean and coastal habitats while also absorbing more CO2 than currently occurs.

Due to a lack of Blue Carbon projects focused on coastal habitats, the cruise line also announced it would support the development of what will become the first carbon credits to be generated from the earth’s vast ocean.

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Windstar President John Delaney to Step Down, Prelog Elevated to COO



John Delaney, president of Windstar Cruises since July 2016, will step down March 4 “to focus on personal priorities,” the company announced Feb. 28.

Andrew Todd, president and CEO of parent company Xanterra Leisure Holding, will continue as CEO of the small-ship cruise line. Delaney will provide advice to the brand during the transition through March.

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Christopher Prelog, vice president of fleet operations at Windstar and former vice president at Seabourn Cruise Line, will assume the role as chief operating officer of Windstar Cruises.

In addition, Betsy O’Rourke, chief marketing officer for Xanterra and the former senior vice president of marketing at Royal Caribbean, will lend her expertise to the Windstar brand.

This is a time of growth and expansion for the small-ship line. Its $250 Million Star Plus Initiative will lengthen three of Windstar’s yacht-like motor ships so new suites, dining venues and public spaces can be added. The first of the stretched ships, Star Breeze, is slated to return to service in May 2020.

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