Connect with us

Cruises

MSC Cruises to Become First Fully Carbon Neutral Major Cruise Line

Published

on

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.

MORE Cruise Line & Cruise Ship

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.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

Comments & Discussion

Cruises

When and How Will Cruising Return?

Published

on

While the entire travel industry has ground to a halt from the coronavirus pandemic, the cruise industry was hit especially hard as multiple ships were turned away from ports while passengers and crew fell ill and even died.

“COVID-19 has been a PR disaster for the cruise industry,” said Ben Cordwell, a travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

How does the cruise industry recover and regain its momentum?

MORE Cruise Line & Cruise Ship

“Since the cruise industry pivoted from passenger shipping to leisure cruising in the 1970s, cruise lines have not faced a full-scale halt of operations like they face today due to the Coronavirus pandemic,” said Robert J. Kwortnik, an associate professor at Cornell University’s Hotel School, who studies tourism with a focus on the leisure cruise industry. “This situation truly is unprecedented, which means the response to it will have to be unprecedented as well.”

First, the cruise companies need to secure the finances needed to keep the core operations running – which they’re already doing. Kwortnik said they also need to prepare logistically for re-crewing ships when they are ready to resume sailing, especially with travel restrictions and severely reduced numbers of flights.

They’ll also have to figure out how to weed out sick passengers and disembark ill and healthy guests if the need ever arises again, he said. It likely will mean more detailed health forms before boarding and thermal scans to check temperatures.

“Stronger or different health screenings may become the new normal for the cruise industry, much like the more involved TSA screenings implemented after the 9/11 tragedy in the United States,” Kwortnik said.

Flexible cancellation policies also may be required so people don’t lose all they paid if they cancel at the last minute due to illness. “Reducing, and ideally eliminating, the possibility of sick passengers getting on a cruise ship will require both more vigilance at the port and the removal of disincentives for ill travelers to show up at the port in the first place,” he said.

But the biggest challenge likely will be convincing people to take a cruise. Steeply discounted fares will help, at least with avid cruisers eager to return to the seas. But many travelers will need to be convinced that ships are disinfected and clean.

“Veteran cruisers know how seriously cruise lines take onboard cleaning and hand-washing to minimize the threat of norovirus. But coronavirus is very different,” Kwortnik said. “Moreover, the important new-to-cruise segment doesn’t have experience with the extraordinary sanitation measures used by cruise lines to minimize the threat of illness spreading onboard. While it’s reasonable for the cruise lines to be reluctant to discuss a common objection to cruising — the fear of getting sick — it may now be necessary to move the question of health/sanitation more front and center as part of a public awareness campaign, especially for travel agents and the new-to-cruise market.”

In fact, Crystal Cruises released a video by President and CEO Tom Wolber, in which he said the luxury line enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols for ships, terminals and vehicles transporting guests. Carnival Cruise Line also detailed its more rigorous cleaning standards on its website.

When cruising does resume, travel advisors will be essential in helping the cruise industry recover, just as they were in building the industry since the 1970s.

“Travel agents may never have been more important to the cruise industry than now. Agents will be key sources of information for cruise education as the cruise lines make operational changes to protect passenger safety, and of course for information about cruises sailing again, itinerary changes, reservation and cancelation changes, etc.,” Kwortnik said. “Communicating and incentivizing the travel trade will be vital to the industry’s reemergence. Travel agents are trusted by their clients, and this trust will be critical as travelers decide if and when it’s safe to cruise for the first time or to cruise again.

“Cruising is an outstanding vacation value, and the industry will come out of this pandemic stronger and all the more focused on guest safety and security,” Kwortnik said. “There’s no reason travel agents shouldn’t be confident to continue selling cruises to their clients and to recommend cruises for customers who have never sailed before.”

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

Comments & Discussion

Continue Reading

latest episode


Advertisement
Advertisement

Jet Set on TheGo!

Travel News & Exclusive Deals delivered right to your inbox weekly!
* indicates required

Trending