...On the momentum of the dynamic cruise resumption
With the 27th Posidonia welcoming the global maritime community back to Athens after four years, focusing on the "hot" issues of energy transition, the green agenda, the post-pandemic landscape and the operation of the supply chain amid geopolitical challenges, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) could not miss the world's leading shipping event. Especially at this critical moment for both shipping in general and cruising in particular, which is not just resuming full operation but also sees its performance return to pre-pandemic levels.
“It’s great to be in Posidonia and exchange views and ideas with all the leaders of the shipping industry on the future of the maritime sector and on how to reach our ambitious environmental goals”, said Marie-Caroline Laurent, CLIA’s Director General in Europe, who attended Posidonia and met with leaders of the industry, focusing their discussions on the green agenda.
Sustainability is a top priority for CLIA as well as for the whole maritime industry, as Posidonia discussions confirm. CLIA members have committed to pursuing net zero carbon cruising by 2050 and in order to reach this goal they make significant investments in new, technologically updated vessels. At the moment, 178 new cruise ships are on order until 2027, representing a value of 47 billion euro. And 93% of these ships are being built in European shipyards, confirming that the cruise industry is powering industrial excellence in the maritime sector in Europe.
“We were very happy to hear the Greek Prime Minister K. Mitsotakis and the Minister of Maritime Affairs I. Plakiotakis supporting the sector’s transition to a new era of zero carbon emissions, but also highlighting the need of development and supply of alternative marine fuels as well as the development of adequate infrastructure, which are critical to our vision of net zero carbon cruising by 2050”, Marie-Caroline Laurent said.
“Of course, CLIA’s sustainability goals are broader than net zero carbon emissions. Cruising is an integral part of sustainable tourism, especially in Greece, which is a top cruise destination, and we our committed to support further sustainable development of the sector. To achieve that we have teamed up with local and port authorities to assess the sustainability status of the municipalities of Corfu and Heraklion, among others, and to map out a plan for a future of sustainable tourism. And we extend this effort to other destinations in Greece as well, as the country gains a stronger position as a leading cruise destination”, Mrs Laurent added.
The upgrade of Greece's role as a leading cruise destination is also confirmed by this year's figures for the country: From the 279 cruise ships of CLIA member companies worldwide, 87 will operate in Greece this year, of which 47 will homeport in the country. This is a trend that started in the midst of the pandemic, when Greece led the resumption of cruising, but continues with the same dynamics.
“2022 is the year we return to pre-pandemic levels in terms of number of cruise ships in operation, while in 2023 we expect to exceed the number of passengers compared to 2019. Especially for Greece, we expect a significant increase in cruise ship calls already from this year. A total of 25 different cruise companies will visit our country this year, more than ever before", said Maria Deligianni, CLIA’s National Director in the Eastern Mediterranean.