Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

7 6 INTERV IEW In cruise control Rebecca Barnes asks Cruise Line International Association’s president and CEO Kelly Craighead about its focuses for 2022 This time last year there was still a wave of uncertainty in the air about the future of the cruise industry. However, the sector has proven its resilience and is now in prime position for growth. While the much-maligned industry has been forced to deal with more than its fair share of scathing headlines over the past two years, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) cruise lines have set the standard for Covid-19 mitigation, implementing enhanced protocols in order to resume operations safely and successfully. Here, president and CEO Kelly Craighead tells CFR more. What has been your main focus since we last spoke in autumn 2021? As we enter the third year of the pandemic, CLIA and our members have been working hard to build back operations to pre-pandemic levels. While the health and safety of crew, passengers and the places cruise ships visit remain the number one priority, our industry is also focused on leading the way in environmental sustainability. In January 2022, CLIA released its annual State of the Industry report and demonstrated how the industry is driving innovation for a more efficient future. By 2027, CLIA’s fleet will have 26 LNGpowered ocean-going cruise ships and 231 of its vessels will be equipped with advanced waste water systems, 176 will have exhaust gas cleaning systems, and 174 ocean-going cruise ships will be fitted with shore power capabilities. Please share your top priorities for 2022. One priority is to get cruise capacity back to pre-pandemic levels by reactivating 100 per cent of the fleet by mid-summer 2022, allowing us to employ more than one million people and contribute billions of dollars to world economies. We also aim to continue leading the travel and tourism sector in Covid-19 risk mitigation efforts, and stay on course to achieve our goal of pursuing carbonneutral cruising by 2050. Can you tell us about any new sustainability projects CLIA and its members are working on? Our members are developing innovative solutions to meet CLIA’s ambitious decarbonisation goals, and they are already having a significant impact. They include advanced recycling protocols, waste-to-energy initiatives, energyefficient ship design, pursuing alternative fuels, supply chain sustainability programmes, and much more. What is your perspective on the ever-changing guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? A hallmark of this pandemic is its unpredictability. That makes everything difficult, especially navigating the “ Approximately six million passengers have sailed on more than 200 ships in 86 markets since July 2020”