AIDA President Felix Eichhorn presents Green Cruising strategy at UNWTO summit in Saint Petersburg
How can we use innovations to tackle climate change? That was one of the central questions at the UNWTO summit meeting which took place in Saint Petersburg (Russia) from September 10–13, 2019.
AIDA Cruises President Felix Eichhorn had been invited to discuss approaches for achieving climate targets with high-ranking representatives of the member countries of the UN world organization for tourism.
The company embraces its responsibility for making cruising sustainable. “Our goal is emission-neutral cruising. 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,” Eichhorn said in Saint Petersburg.
Sustainable destination management is another important aspect of AIDA Cruises’ commitment. “We are aware that only if cruises are a welcome economic sector that people accept our guests can enjoy authentic and sustainable vacation experiences. 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,” Felix Eichhorn continued.
As early as the end of 2023, 94 percent of all AIDA guests will be traveling on ships that are entirely powered with low-emission liquefied natural gas (LNG) or, where possible, can be operated when in port with green shore power. At the end of 2018 the company commissioned AIDAnova, the world’s first cruise ship that can be operated entirely with low-emission LNG both in port and at sea, and which has been awarded the German federal government’s eco-label for green ship design, the Blue Angel. As part of its Green Cruising strategy, for over ten years AIDA Cruises has been involved in research into and the use of low-emission LNG in the cruise industry. Two more of these innovative 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. Thanks to the use of this technology, consumption of fossil fuel will be reduced even further, and the efficiency of ship operations significantly increased.
Shore power is an important subject for AIDA Cruises when it comes to retrofitting ships in the existing fleet with eco-friendly technologies. 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 percent of its operating time in ports.
AIDA Cruises is moreover already researching into synthetic fuels from renewable sources, and the use of fuel cells aboard cruise ships.
Other important elements of the company’s Green Cruising strategy include reducing the use of plastic and disposable items and eventually dispensing with them altogether. Wherever possible reusable items rather than disposable ones are used. Where disposable products such as paper napkins are used, AIDA Cruises strives to ensure that they are biodegradable.
About AIDA Cruises:
AIDA Cruises is the market leader for cruises in Germany and currently employs around 15,000 people from over 50 countries; 13,500 aboard its 13 ships, and 1,500 at the company’s bases in Rostock and Hamburg. Since putting AIDAnova, the world’s first cruise ship that can be fully powered with low-emission LNG, into service in December 2018, the company has commissioned two more of these innovative ships which will be completed by 2023. At the end of 2023, 94 percent of all AIDA guests will be traveling on ships that can be fully powered with low-emission liquefied natural gas or, in port, with green shore power where available.