Cruise lines sign Port of Marseille’s Blue Charter

Cruise lines sign Port of Marseille’s Blue Charter
Erminio Eschena signs the Blue Charter on behalf of MSC Cruises

Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Ponant signed the Port of Marseille’s Blue Charter in France on 17 October, signalling their commitment to reducing air emissions in the area.

Blue Charter signatories must implement measures beyond current national and international regulations to reduce the environmental impact of their ships in Marseille. All four cruise lines have now agreed to reduce their sailing speed to 10 knots maximum when entering and leaving the port, and ensure that all ships use fuel with less than 0.1% sulphur content when manoeuvring at the port.

“As part of our unprecedented investment plan – our fleet is set to expand to 25 ships by 2027 – we are structurally integrating sustainability into every aspect of our strategy and long-term development,” said Erminio Eschena, director of institutional affairs and industrial relations at MSC Cruises France. “We are particularly proud of this signature, which is fully in line with our desire to offer cruises that are ever more respectful of the environment and the populations who welcome us.”

The Blue Charter also calls for cruise lines to connect to a shoreside power infrastructure when it has been constructed. Grand Port Maritime de Marseille and other organisations will invest almost €9 million (US$10 million) to provide shore power in the port by 2024.

“This signing is a unique and major step forward for the environment, for the cruise industry in the Mediterranean, for Marseille and its inhabitants and for the Port,” said Hervé Martel, chairman of the board of the Port of Marseille. “We have the firm intention of developing the cruise business in a responsible way, one that is acceptable to our port neighbours. We now have a commitment from all the stakeholders and the prospect of effectively connecting cruise ships to power points on our quays.”

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
25 October 2019

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