01/10/2015 – The cruise tourism industry is booming. 1.8 million Germans spent their holidays at sea in 2014 – and the trend is growing. The cruise industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the tourism sector and is a growth driver for the German and European ship building industry. However, it is also clear that this development must be made in an environmentally friendly way. Wybcke Meier, Director of TUI Cruises, and Lucienne Damm, Environmental Manager at TUI Cruises, presented the company’s current growth programme, corporate strategy and environmental activities.
Passengers expect more from cruises
The modern cruise ship offers its guests tremendous variety. The single idea of the old luxury liner is no longer relevant, explained Wybcke Meier. In recent years, the segment has experienced strong diversification as the demands of guests have changed dramatically and different types of cruises are requested. In this context, it is important to closely monitor the environmental impact of cruises and continuously optimise the environmental strategy.
Lucienne Damm emphasised the need for a continuous improvement process. We should be setting the bar higher and making further progress with every new ship. The subject of energy efficiency is of key importance. New ships save up to 30 per cent in energy compared with previous generations. Waste and sewage management must also be continuously improved and the environmental awareness of guests on board and on shore excursions must also be carefully considered.
TUI Cruises as pioneers
The Mein Schiff 3 and Mein Schiff 4 are currently among the most environmentally friendly cruise ships in their class. Waste gas cleaning systems in place reduce toxic emissions by up to 99 per cent, the protection of resources on board extends far above the legal requirements and great importance is also given to the use of particularly environmentally-friendly and recyclable materials when building the ships. This also applies for further new vessels from TUI Cruises.