GreenPort Cruise - North Sea Region cruise ports as a lighthouse for green cruise?

  • Environmental concerns pose the biggest challenge for the cruise sector today.
  • Popular cities face being swamped by thousands of cruise passengers.
  • Everyone wants to be green but not many want to pay the price.
  • Ports looking to serve the cruise sector need to ensure that the required wastewater, garbage and recycling facilities are in place – and also consider shoreside LNG supplies.

The dynamic growth of the European cruise sector isn’t only a great success or opportunity for ports and the local economy – it also presents major challenges, raising questions of sustainability and environmental impact. That was the message from Dr Bernd Egert, state secretary of the Hamburg Ministry of Economy, Transport and Innovation, as he opened the GreenPort Cruise conference held in Hamburg.
 
He set the tone for the day ahead, as discussions focused on the additional costs of being ‘green’ – and who would be prepared to pay; the need to protect both natural and cultural environment from being damaged by thousands of cruise passengers; why it is so critical that ports provide the required wastewater reception, garbage collection and recycling facilities; and why the North Sea Region cruise ports could indeed act as a ‘lighthouse for green cruise’.
 
As cruise specialist Tony Peisley, acting as moderator for the day, told delegates: “The environmental challenge is the biggest challenge that the cruise sector faces. Over the next 10 years, it will be the biggest cost element for the cruise industry. But it is also important for ports.”
 
Shipping lines are under pressure to do the right thing environmentally – and that in turn puts pressure on the ports they use. “What ports need to do is to allow ships to deliver environmental change as cheaply and effectively as possible,” said Robert Ashdown, director for technical, environmental and operational matters at the European Cruise Council.
 
The GreenPort Cruise conference was organised in association with the EU Cruise Gateway North Sea project and supported by the European Cruise Council.