MedCruise: The Ealing Project and Developing a Must-See Destination

MedCruise Panel on Shore Power

Several panel discussions were presented on the third day of the 63rd MedCruise General Assembly in Burgas.

Port members delivered a presentation and analysis on the survey regarding shore power and waste management in ports.

Another compelling case study, “The Crew-Friendly Approach,” was presented by Susana Soria, the Manager at the Port of Castellón, who showcased some of the facilities and services exclusively designed for seafarers provided by the port.

One of the focal points of the event was “The Ealing Project,” officially known as the European Flagship Action for Cold Ironing in Ports. The project’s primary objective is to expedite the deployment of Onshore Power Supply (OPS) system and reducing emissions from vessels while in EU ports.

Representatives from the port of Constantza and Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company, underlined the barriers they need to overcome of the effective deployment of shore power solutions such as state laws, cost benefit and volatile price of electricity.

Lotfi Trabelsi, Director EMEA for the Royal Caribbean Group, discussed the outfitting of the company’s vessels with shore power, emphasizing the commitment of using the system in ports that have shore power connections.

“When it comes to the cost element, It’s hard to budget. Once you compare, it appears to be more expensive, but we remain committed,” said Trabelsi.

“We use it where it’s available and compatible with the ship. However, there may be days when this becomes difficult, particularly in situations involving crosswinds when we need the engine ready for departure. Additionally, on some ships, it’s available on the port side, while on others, it’s on the starboard side. The sequence of arrival and departure can differ. There will be days when, due to operational reasons, we may not be able to use it. But, this doesn’t diminish our commitment in terms of costs to use it whenever possible.”

Even Husby, Head of Environment at the  Port of Bergen, gave a presentation of existing and future shore connections in Bergen, addressing the main challenges such as grid capacity, standardization, knowledge, cost, and the electricity needs of the different types of vessels.

Another panel discussion revolved around “Developing a Must-See Destination for Cruises.” The panel underscored the relationship between cruise ports and the destinations they serve, economic benefits for local communities, and what the cruise lines are looking for when choosing a destination.

“There are six main points when it comes of choosing a perfect location, that I think are very important. The first is the unique selling position. his could be beautiful nature, cultural activity, or gastronomy,” said Ryan Baird, Project Manager Destination Communication at Holland America.

“The second thing that we are look for is accessibility, Then what goes with that is infrastructure, do you have hotels and tourist information. Safety and security, if it’s not a safe port, you’re not going to attract tourists, so we have to have that sense of safety. And then it goes to tourism and marketing. The last thing which I think is important is bundling a tour package where guest can experience all five senses,” he said.

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