Vago: ‘Collaborate for the Greater Good’

MSC Virtuosa in Hamburg

“Germany is the largest cruise source market in Europe with some of the most important cruise ports,

which act as turnaround and home ports, as well as being popular destinations for visitors,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, global chair of CLIA and executive chairman of MSC Cruises, speaking at Seatrade Europe in Hamburg.

Despite challenges, Vago said that the summer cruise season would be a record for passengers carried, and the industry offers unique economies of scale making it the best value for money and greatest holiday experience.

“We should be proud of the innovation and technologies that we are investing in, as we lead the whole of the maritime sector in achieving our net zero emissions targets,” Vago added. “We are making advances that also benefit civil society. “

Vago said the industry continued to face challenges, including unfounded criticism.

“Cruise lines are investing in fuel flexibility and propulsion technologies with conversion capabilities for the future,” he said. “We are diversifying energy solutions, introducing dual fuel engines, and trialling fuel cell technology for power sharing.”

Other solutions include LNG-powered ships and seven newbuilds that will be methanol ready, he said, in addition to shore power.

“Yet, the reality is that power is currently only available at 13 ports in Europe, and 32 ports worldwide,” he said. “Here, we should commend German ports for their leadership.  Hamburg, Rostock, and Kiel all provide shoreside electricity, and are planning to extend it further.

Vago also noted that in only a few months’ time, the maritime sector will become part of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), where operators will begin to pay for each ton of CO2 emitted, and revenues will be collected by national governments.

“CLIA is calling on national governments to earmark the ETS revenues secured from the maritime sector to fund the necessary infrastructure and support the deployment of renewable energy at an accessible price,” Vago explained. “While the infrastructure needs are enormous, I am confident that if industry and governments work together, side-by-side, we can deliver.

“But we as industry leaders, must also work together, to find common technologies and solutions.

“We need to all pull in the same direction and collaborate for the greater good.”


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