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On Board 1,400 sustainable tours, offered by certified sustainable tour operators from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean and beyond, were available for booking. The initiative began as part of the company’s 2020 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) target to offer guests 1,000 tours provided by operators certified to the UN-created Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standard. By reaching and surpassing the goal nearly one year ahead of schedule, the company underscored its commitment to operate sustainably and provide its guests with responsible options while ashore. “Our guests are eager to explore and discover new cultures and places, and we want to do our part to ensure those destinations continue to thrive,” said Roberta Jacoby, Managing Director, Global Tour Operations, Royal Caribbean Cruises. “Achieving this goal was a truly collaborative process with our motivated tour operators and with the dedicated team at Global Sustainable Tourism Council.” Engaging with its portfolio of global independent tour operators was a key part of the program. Together with GSTC, RCL’s Global Tour Operations team conducted informational sessions to educate its tour operators of the company’s commitment, the importance of certification and sustainable operations, and the process to become certified by any of GSTC’s accredited certification bodies. The team worked with GSTCaccredited certifier Travelife to provide access to training materials and reporting tools to help tour operators gain GSTC certification. Tour operators also had access to webinars and seminars at industry trade shows and are entitled to recognition on RCL brand websites and tour collateral. “The scale and scope of Royal Caribbean Cruises’ commitment to sustainable shore excursions and accomplishments to date are unprecedented,” says Jim Sano, Vice President for Conservation Travel, WWF. “This initiative not only helps advance WWF’s conservation mission, it elevates the sustainability bar for the entire travel industry.” AIDA CRUISES PIONEERING CRUISE INDUSTRY’S TRIAL OF FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY AIDA Cruises has partnered with leaders from the maritime and engineering sectors to pilot the world’s first fuel cell system 38 FOURTH QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE

designed to power large passenger vessels. As early as 2021, AIDA Cruises will trial this innovative fuel technology on AIDAnova, becoming the cruise industry’s first brand to trial fuel cells on a large cruise ship.

The research project, named “Pa-Xell2,” is designed to develop fuel cells that are powered by hydrogen derived from methanol, with the potential to supply power to cruise ships at even lower emissions levels than liquefied natural gas (LNG). Developed as a hybrid energy system for use in cruise ships, the fuel cells will be designed to enable benefits beyond significantly lower emissions, including operating with lower noise and vibration. In the future there is the potential for the required methanol to be produced from renewable energy sources. “We will reach another important milestone on our journey to emission-neutral cruising,” said Felix Eichhorn, president, AIDA Cruises. “Our goal is continuing to show concrete solutions for achieving our climate targets.” As part of Carnival Corporation’s innovative “green cruising” strategy, the fuel cell pilot one of an ongoing series of environmental initiatives and major technological advances for the company’s AIDA Cruises brand, including an agreement to install a first-of-its-kind lithium-ion battery power system on AIDAperla in 2020, which will be the world’s largest battery storage system ever on a passenger ship, capable of generating a total output of 10-megawatt hours to help electrify the ship’s propulsion and operation for periods of time. MSC CRUISES POSITIVE ON BEING CARBON NEUTRAL While celebrating its most environmentally-advanced cruise ship yet—MSC Grandiosa— entering service during festivities held in Hamburg, Germany on Nov. 8, MSC Cruises announced its commitment to become the world’s first fully carbon neutral major global cruise line.

The announcement came as part of a broader vision to support UN Sustainable Development Goals—with initiatives already leading to a projected fleet-wide 29% reduction in carbon intensity rate by 2024, well on the way to meet the 40% reduction target set for 2030—and in tandem with continued investments in the accelerated development of advanced environmental technology that will allow for zero-emissions ship operations. “As we recognize that today’s even most advanced maritime environmental technology alone is insufficient to immediately reach carbon neutrality, the further commitment we make today ensures that our fleet makes no negative contribution to climate change, starting Jan. 1, 2020,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman, MSC Cruises. MSC Cruises will offset all direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its fleet marine operations through a blend of carbon offset projects developed according to the highest standards by leading international entities that take immediate action on greenhouse gas emissions. All costs for the offsets as well as any other associated items will be covered directly and in full by the company. “Our vision is to also invest in projects that provide quantifiable community benefits, protect the environment and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” continued Vago.

In particular, MSC Cruises aims to develop a carbon offset portfolio that incorporates projects which protect and restore Ocean and coastal habitats while also absorbing more CO2 than currently occurs. As Blue Carbon projects focused mainly on coastal habitats are currently scarce, MSC Cruises will itself support the development of what aims to become the first carbon credits to be generated from the earth’s vast ocean, constituting an important new means for protecting and enhancing marine biodiversity and supporting communities that rely on the ocean. “For us, this is another step forward in our long-standing commitment to protecting the oceans, the destinations we visit and the port communities we touch,” said Vago.

Profile for Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association

Travel & Cruise 4th Quarter 2019  

4th quarter edition of Travel & Cruise Magazine. Published quarterly, Travel & Cruise is the official magazine of the FCCA, CLIA and the cru...

Travel & Cruise 4th Quarter 2019  

4th quarter edition of Travel & Cruise Magazine. Published quarterly, Travel & Cruise is the official magazine of the FCCA, CLIA and the cru...

Profile for fcca