Cruise lines must not be afraid to set “big audacious goals” when it comes to tackling climate change and operating more sustainability.
That was the message from Virgin Voyages and Hurtigruten representatives addressing the TTG New to Cruise Festival in Liverpool this week.
Anthony Daniels, UK general manager, said before he joined the company five years ago its bosses had spoken of their desire to “power ships using waterfalls”.
“Now that’s actually a reality as with Roald Amundsen [Hurtigruten’s hybrid battery-powered ship launched in June] the electricity we’re fuelling the ship with in port comes from hydroelectric waterfalls.”
Daniels said he believed the cruise sector to be taking the climate crisis “incredibly seriously” with Hurtigruten ditching single-use plastics company-wide last July – just three months after announcing its intentions to do so.
“We want to be world leaders in expedition cruising and so it’s vital that when we visit these places – Alaska, the Northwest Passage, we’re not leaving a bad footprint.”
Gemma Smith, sales manager for Virgin Voyages, which will launch its first ship Scarlet Lady early next year, said the line had also “banned” all single-use plastics and would confiscate plastic water bottles from passengers should they try and bring one onboard.
Smith also discussed how Virgin Voyages was working with Swedish-based geothermal energy specialist, Climeon, in a bid to create a cleaner fuel than currently being used by the industry.
Scarlet Lady’s hull has also been designed to create "as little resistance as possible" with the water to make for smoother sailing and the expending of less energy, Smith told delegates.
“I think cruise has really taken a leadership role with sustainability - despite the sector only being a small part of the shipping world,” she said.
“Cruise lines shouldn’t be afraid to have these big audacious goals. They may seem far away but it’s important we’re all working towards them - cruise can definitely be a driving force for good.”