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Cruise News: Powering Up Sustainability

Environmental initiatives and sustainable fuels have become a big talking point in the cruise industry, and it’s great to see major cruise lines taking serious steps to reduce their footprint and preserve our oceans.

It’s a trend we’re sure will continue to spread as the industry celebrates successful expansion – on traditional and newer voyages.


LNG “Leading The Way” with launch of AIDAnova

LNG, or Liquefied Natural Gas, is an eco-friendly fuel option that’s bringing in a new generation of cruise and cargo ships.

Many cruise ships currently use diesel or heavy oil (most are able to use both) but even with improvements to fuel efficiency over the years, these still release a lot of pollutants compared to the relatively low-impact LNG fuel.

AIDAnova and Costa Smerelda are the first two ships to be fully LNG powered, and AIDAnova launched on 3 September. The 5,200-passenger cruise giant has a water park, 17 restaurants, and 23 bars, with 21 categories of cabins and suites.

Its maiden voyage in December will take guests to the Canary Islands.

Carnival is also developing a new 100,000 ton LNG ship, which will be he first of its kind in North America. A new terminal is being built at Port Canaveral in Florida, which will be the ship’s Homeport – it is set to be completed by June 2020.


Aiming To Be Emission Free

Another fuel alternative under development is the combination of fuel cells and methanol.

Abeking & Rasmussen Shipyard in Germany is designing a 100-passenger cruise ship using this technology, and hope to extend its use to other cruise ships, minimising emissions as much as possible.

Ultimately, the team hopes to get rid of combustion engines entirely, which would mean zero emissions on smaller, private yacht-style cruises!


River Cruises Are Flowing Faster…

Those yacht-style cruises are perfectly suited to rivers and smaller waterways, which once again have been “soaring in popularity.”

The River Cruise Review, quoted by the Telegraph on 4/9/2018, reported that 200.000 British passengers chose river cruises in 2017 – that’s a 21% increase on the previous year!

“European river cruises made up 90 per cent of bookings last year, accounting for 188,000 passengers. The Rhine and Danube continue to fuel growth with the Douro in Portugal and the Russian waterways also growing in popularity.”


… And so is the entire industry!

“There were roughly 26 million cruise passengers in 2017,” according to Forbes magazine. “The estimate for 2018, is that it will top 27 million. For the last several years the industry has been operating at near 100% capacity and it seems to be in the enviable position that growth is limited more by capacity than demand.”

Forbes spoke to Vacations To Go president and COO, Emerson Hankamer, who confirmed that the only problem is that ships can’t be built any faster.

Hankamer noted that even though demand is high, “There are still deals to be had.” He explained that while there may not always be a lot of discounts, many cruise lines are making an effort to include more amenities and add value for passengers.

He confirmed that more new itineraries and destinations are being planned by many cruise lines too, opening up even more opportunities for cruise fanatics. We can’t wait!