At the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) summit, which took place on 10-13 September 2019 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, AIDA Cruises president Felix Eichhorn addressed how the cruise line industry can use technology innovations to tackle climate change.
“Our goal is emission-neutral cruising,” said Eichhorn. “We support the Paris climate targets and the United Nations’ targets for sustainable development. We can only master the great challenges that lie ahead of us together. By implementing our Green Cruising strategy, we are making a solid contribution to achieving those targets, and our technical innovations are creating important momentum for the maritime and tourism industries.”
AIDA Cruises’ Green Cruising strategy includes sustainable destination management. “We are aware that only if cruises are a welcome economic sector that people accept our guests can enjoy authentic and sustainable vacation experiences,” said Eichhorn. “We are continuously working with our partners in the various destinations to develop sustainable concepts. Our aim is to preserve the local landscapes, the cultural heritage and historical treasures.”
Over the last decade, AIDA Cruises has been involved in research into and the use of low-emission liquid natural gas (LNG) in the cruise industry. As early as the end of 2023, 94% of all AIDA guests will be traveling on ships that are entirely powered with LNG or, where possible, can be operated when in port with green shore power. At the end of 2018 the company commissioned AIDAnova, a cruise ship that can be operated entirely with LNG both in port and at sea. Two more of these AIDA ships will be put into service by 2023.
Lithium-ion battery storage systems will be put to use aboard an AIDA ship (AIDAperla) as early as 2020, to reduce consumption of fossil fuel and increase the efficiency of ship operations.
In 2020, 12 of the 14 AIDA ships will be able to make use of shore power where it is available in ports. By using shore power from renewable energy sources while in dock, emissions are virtually reduced to zero. This is an important contribution because a cruise ship spends 40% of its operating time in ports.
AIDA Cruises is also researching into synthetic fuels from renewable sources and the use of fuel cells aboard cruise ships. Other important elements of the Green Cruising strategy include reducing the use of plastic and disposable items, with plans to eliminate them entirely over time, replacing them with reusable and biodegradable options.