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Alternative propulsion systems in the cruise industry Interview with Lucienne Damm, Head of Sustainability at TUI Cruises

Alternative propulsion systems in the cruise industry
TUI Cruises

Like other business sectors, the cruise industry is under pressure to find ways to decarbonise. In this interview, Lucienne Damm explains the aspects of sustainability that are relevant on a cruise ship and why they range beyond just its engine.

REH: To what extent is the cruise industry currently engaging with the subject of sustainability?

TUI Cruises: "Sustainability now plays a role in all business sectors, and that’s how it should be. In the cruise industry, the central question for many years has naturally been that of future propulsion systems and fuels. We can only achieve long-term decarbonisation of deep-sea navigation, of which the cruise industry makes up about 1%, if we have low-carbon fuels available. But of course we also need engines that are capable of using them. On the one hand, this means that there are a lot of pilot projects for alternative propulsion systems running in the cruise sector and, on the other hand, there are initial tests with future fuels. TUI Cruises is entering the race here with Mein Schiff 7. Still in her construction phase, she has already been equipped with the central technical features so she’s in a position to use green methanol in the future. And our new ships with dual-fuel drive will also be able to use e- or bio-LNG in future, as soon as this is commercially available."

REH: Which European sustainability regulations apply to the cruise industry?

TUI Cruises: "I don’t want to bore you here with a list of all the regulations, but at the moment we’re looking very closely at the legislative acts that have been developed from the EU’s Green Deal and are gradually entering their implementation phase. E.g. the requirement for shoreside power from 2030 in all TEN-T harbours and the inclusion of shipping in the ETS (Emission Trading Scheme). Aside from that, the cruise sector, as part of the international shipping industry, is subject to the regulations of the International Maritime Organization, which has also adopted an ambitious greenhouse gas reduction strategy with measures that affect cruising, e.g. the Carbon Intensity Indicator."

REH: How do your customers react to these issues?

TUI Cruises: "Our customers have always taken an interest in sustainability. We experience this before, during and sometimes after their voyages. They want to know: What happens with my waste on the ship? How do we save fuel? And how is sewage treated? At various points we give answers to all these questions. And if something remains unclear, then in our Mein Schiff fleet we have our environment officer on duty, who’s happy to answer any remaining questions in a personal meeting."

REH: How do you discuss this subject area within the industry?

TUI Cruises: "Crucially, we have the CLIA as the international cruise association, which tracks environment and sustainability developments very actively for us shipping companies at international and European level. A certain amount of dialogue takes place here. But we also have numerous networks in the tourism sector where we collaborate with other tourism enterprises on topics related to sustainability, engage in dialogue and provide mutual support, for example the DRV’s sustainability dialogue or, in particular, Futouris e.V., the sustainability initiative of the German travel industry. I’m active on the management board there and I find the cooperation on a wide range of issues very important and crucial for long-term solutions in the tourism industry."

Thank you very much!

About Astrid Dose

Profilbild zu: Astrid Dose

Talking, writing, organising – and having lots of fun! This is what my days at the EEHH Cluster look like. I’ve been responsible for public relations and marketing for the Hamburg industry network since 2011. I studied History and English and have a soft spot for technical issues.