CLIA cruise line members invest over US$22 billion in green technologies

New report says operators are prioritising scrubbers, wastewater treatment systems, shore power and LNG

CLIA cruise line members invest over US$22 billion in green technologies
Port of Hamburg in Germany is one of only 16 cruise ports in the world that offers shore power facilities (Image:HPA_Christian-Bruch)

By Rebecca Gibson |

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) cruise line members have collectively invested more than US$22 billion in ships with new, energy-efficient technologies and cleaner fuels, according to a new report from the global cruise association.

The third annual Global Cruise Industry Environmental Technologies and Practices Report found that 68% of CLIA cruise line members’ ships now have advanced wastewater treatment systems (up 13% from 2018) and 100% of the newbuilds on order will be equipped with these systems.

Meanwhile, more than 68% of the global cruise fleet already uses exhaust gas cleaning systems to meet or exceed air emissions requirements, which is 17% more than in 2018. In addition, 75% of non-LNG new ships will have scrubbers.

The report showed that 44% of the new vessels on order will primarily run on LNG fuel – a 60% rise from 2018.

“While cruise ships comprise far less than 1% of the global maritime community, cruise lines are at the forefront in developing responsible tourism practices and innovative technologies. Our industry leads in environmental stewardship,” said Michael Thamm, chairman of CLIA Europe and group CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia. “The entire shipping industry benefits from early adoption of innovative technologies by cruise lines—many of which did not exist five to 10 years ago such as exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), LNG as fuel for passenger ships and shoreside power capabilities.”

CLIA’s cruise line members are also investing in technologies to enable their vessels to connect to shore power while berthed in ports. According to the report, 30% of the global cruise fleet is already able to connect to shore power grids and 18% will be retrofitted with shoreside electricity systems, which represents a more than 300% increase in capacity compared to last year. In addition, 88% of newbuilds will either be fitted with shoreside electricity systems or will be configured so they can be added in future.

However, there are currently only 16 cruise ports in the world that have shore power facilities in at least one berth. They include Norway’s Port of Kristiansand, Germany’s Port of Hamburg, China’s Port of Shanghai and ports on the east and west coasts of North America. Consequently, many cruise lines have agreed to collaborate with various ports and governments to increase availability worldwide.

“CLIA cruise lines are passionate about clean oceans and committed to responsible tourism practices and the highest standards of environmental stewardship – with policies and practices often exceeding those required by law,” said Adam Goldstein, chairman of CLIA Global and vice chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “While we are encouraged by and proud of the progress we’ve made, we know there is still work to be done. The cruise industry is a pioneer in maritime environmental protection and has made a fleet-wide commitment to reduce the rate of carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2008. It’s a challenging goal, but the CLIA cruise lines fleet is working diligently to meet this aggressive target.”

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