Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2023

99 of its vessel to improve hydrodynamic efficiency. Viking expects to produce a saving of a few per cent on the fuel consumption, and hence carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions. The plan is to roll this out throughout the six-ship fleet during scheduled dry docks. Viking Line has also been using shore power on the Helsinki route since the 1990s and vessels now plug in at any port where it is offered. The company’s green aim, says Hanses, is to “continue to reduce energy consumption by three per cent a year”. This will involve not only investing in technical solutions but also developing the way the vessels are handled on the routes. He adds: “We also see possibilities to further reduce energy consumption on the hotel load, for example more efficient use of the air conditioning and heating system during the year.” Hanses believes that the company’s environmental ethos gives it a competitive edge with passengers on sales, who are the most satisfied and loyal customers of any transport provider in Finland, according to a 2022 EPSI Rating survey. Passengers appreciate both the efforts made to increase the sustainability of both ship operations and the onboard product. For example, in terms of food, Hanses says: “Passengers see the way the food is handled in the restaurants in order to minimise waste and also the way that we choose the products we use. It should be sustainable all the way through.” Instead of offering large amounts of fish and meat in the buffets, the company provides small portions – as many as guests want – to minimise waste. It also looks for local and sustainable food solutions, for example fish from the Baltic. “Some of our vessels ship the waste for production of biogas [at the moment for other operators],” says Hanses. Looking ahead, Hanses, like so many others, is preparing for the European Union’s Fit for 55 plan, which aims to cut net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030. “We need to make our operation more efficient to balance the further costs it will bring us,” he says. “Grace and Glory are a good start and a platform to develop upon, but I suspect we’ll need some time before we can carry it through.” The regulations will require the amount of fossil components in the fuels to gradually reduce but this will need to be balanced with concerns about price mechanisms: “We need to use fuels other than fossil fuels in the future in order to be able to function,” he concludes. Viking Line has measures in place to reduce the amount of food wasted in the cafes and restaurants onboard its ships Photo: credit