International Cruise and Ferry - Autumn/Winter 2018

MARKETWATCH International Cruise & Ferry Review 24 Upfront t least eight million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean every year, which means there is likely to be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050, according to reports by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and other environmental organisations. Consequently, major cruise and ferry operators across the world are introducing recyclable or reusable alternatives to single- use plastic bottles, cups, straw, stirrers and more. They are also encouraging suppliers to minimise plastic packaging too. Aiming to be the world’s first entirely plastic-free cruise company, Norway-based expedition operator Hurtigruten led the way when it banned all unnecessary single-use plastic items from its passenger ships and onshore hotels and restaurants from July 2018. “There is a lot of talk about the impact plastic has on our oceans, but now it’s time to take action,” said Daniel Skjeldam, Hurtigruten CEO. “Hurtigruten operates in some of the most vulnerable areas in the world. This means that we carry a special responsibility to protect these areas for the local population and future generations of explorers.” This summer, Lindblad Expeditions- National Geographic successfully eliminated all single-use plastics across its fleet – a goal it started working towards in 2007 with a ban on plastic water bottles. Similarly, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. has removed plastic straws across its Norwegian Cruise Major cruise operators go plastic-free New operator Virgin Voyages has revealed that its first ship, Scarlet Lady, will only offer recyclable or reusable straws, beverage bottles, condiment packets, shopping bags, food packaging, stirrers, and disposable coffee and tea cups when she debuts in 2020. “We make our living on the seas and plastics in particular are a problem,” Craig Milan, vice president of itinerary and shore excursion development at Virgin Voyages, told ICFR. “We won’t have unnecessary plastic onboard.” Virgin Voyages pledges plastic-free cruises We look at how cruise companies are reducing single-use plastic onboard their vessels to protect oceans and sealife around the world