Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2020

4 3 Celebrity Flora’s eco-conscious design and green technologies make her one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cruise ships ROUNDTABLE We want to understand the local’s perspective and work together to make a difference. At our private destination in Haiti, for example, we operate a grammar school for children of the surrounding villages and offer adult job training in the evenings. How do you respond to critics who say that cruising is unsustainable and bad for the environment? WD: Guests come aboard to enjoy an unforgettable voyage and discover the planet’s natural beauty and meet its inhabitants. This experience of expanding one’s horizons and personal growth gives guests the opportunity to share our wonder and emphasise the need to protect the environment. Our deep belief is that when people understand the world, they care more deeply and take responsibility for it. Guests are transformed by the cruises and, in turn, become environmental ambassadors. Moreover, PONANT’s characteristics are to be considered: our ships are modern and small in size. NR: Our response has much to do with information. There are a number of misconceptions on cruise ship operations and, more often than not, we will invite individuals or groups to see our operation first-hand. We believe it’s important to be transparent about our ships’ inner workings and our efforts of continuous improvement. The truth is that cruise ships are cleaner than ever before and the technology is improving with each new class of vessels we build. Tourism relies on a beautiful environment, which is why we are working with leading institutions in a constant quest for improvements to protect and sustain our environment far into the future. What innovative, energy-efficient technologies and initiatives are you investing in for the future? WD: PONANT has invested over €1 billion (US$ 1.18 billion ) in building a modern fleet, with the goal of achieving the sector’s highest standards. In addition, the ships’ smaller capacity limits propulsive power and reduces the quantity of fuel we consume and emissions we release. Currently, we are working on an innovative project using digital navigation. Our ships will also be fitted with an electronic assistance system that will ensure optimal fuel consumption. With our forthcoming polar exploration vessel, Le Commandant-Charcot, the chance to sail on a hybrid-electric ship running on LNG represents the ultimate embodiment of PONANT’s commitment to sustainable tourism. NR: Energy efficiencies are always top of mind at Royal Caribbean Group. We are committed to a 20 per cent reduction in energy use with each new class of ship introduced. We are also exploring different energy solutions such as LNG and even fuel cells for our next class of ship – the Icon class. Solutions and innovations, when possible, are then retrofitted and introduced to the previous generation of ships. Additionally, we have looked to renewal energy through a wind farm project that will offset our carbon up to 10 per cent annually. C&F