Speaking with a united voice in Europe

Cruise Europe is working with its members, cruise lines, ports, ESPO and CLIA to strengthen the European cruise industry, says Jens Skrede

Speaking with a united voice in Europe
This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2016 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Since launching with 27 ports in 1992, the Cruise Europe association has grown to 120 members, with a geographical spread from Lisbon in Portugal, to St Petersburg in Russia, Norway’s North Cape and Iceland. Over the past few months, we’ve recruited new members like Bristol in the UK, Visby in Sweden and the Norwegian Rail. We are very proud of this achievement because it makes Cruise Europe even more relevant to the cruise lines. Each year, our members attend our Cruise Europe Conference. This year, the must-attend event was hosted by Dublin Port Company and Dublin City Council in Ireland between 31 May and 2 June. The serious work took place in the Gibson Hotel on the River Liffey, just down from the port offices.

During the informative and interactive conference, delegates took the opportunity to get up close and personal with a number of key figures who decide which ports their cruise ships will visit across the world. Senior executives from Carnival UK, Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises, Disney Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Windstar Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Line and Thomson Cruises all attended.

Our members, cruise line executives and media representatives learned a range of topical and relevant information during the packed conference day, exchanged knowledge during networking opportunities, and of course, enjoyed some traditional Irish ‘good craic’ in the evenings. We’re already looking forward to the 2017 conference, which will be hosted by Columbus Cruise Centre Bremerhaven in Germany from 25-27 April.

On 2 June, Dublin also hosted the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) conference, where it officially released the Code of Practice for Cruise and Ferry Ports. The five sections cover competition and cooperation between ports; the importance of infrastructure developments; secure cruise operations; improving relations of ports, hosting cities and destinations; and structuring relationships between ports, cruise ship and ferry operators, and their associations.

The code is the first major outcome of the work conducted within a pan-European network that includes Cruise Europe and four other European cruise port associations. It provides a united voice that informs policymakers and the public about the characteristics, challenges and bottom-up initiatives undertaken by European cruise ports. It also strengthens ports’ efforts to endorse best practices that enhance their performance.

Cruise Europe has also partnered with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to bring added value to the cruise industry.

“This is a very exciting time for Cruise Europe with many opportunities as the cruise industry continues to expand its capacity,” said David Dingle, vice chairman of CLIA Europe, during his state of the industry address in Dublin. “Together CLIA and CE can drive that growth through mutual cooperation, particularly in creating the right regulatory conditions.”

“With 25 years of history, Cruise Europe is well placed to discuss and lobby on local, national and international regulatory issues,” comments Michael McCarthy, chairman of Cruise Europe. “We can draw on a wealth of experience from the Cruise Europe family of members which numbers more than 100 ports.”

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