The focus over the last couple decades has been on the “carbon footprint” of the hundreds of cruise ships out on the oceans. This has led major cruise lines to focus more on what “comes out the tailpipe.”
Advances in the generation of needed energy at sea are now rolling out. A quick history. The days of the “tall” ships are long gone. The first cross-Atlantic ships were not used to haul people on vacations. They were mail delivery vehicles. The exploding migration to America drove folks to communicate via letters well before the age of the telegraph and radio. British ships were dubbed “RMS” – meaning Royal Mail Ship.
Soon, coal fired steam engines made for quicker mail delivery. The generated steam would expand and turn large cylinders or turbines that led to the propellers at the back. Occasionally, a person or two could take passage for a fee. The idea caught on. An industry was born. In the early days, the routing was primarily England to New York City. The Titanic was doing just that when she went down. Long distance boats rides soon caught on and the demand for overseas transportation rose.
Today, over 25 Million passengers enjoy cruising. Most ships are powered via petroleum products. These tend to dump tons of waste into the air (and a lot settles into the ocean). To help the environment, low sulphur fuels and electric propulsion are trending. Nearly $7B is being spent on new ships.
Regulators are now watching smokestack emissions. The European and North American Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) encourage low sulphur fuels. Their reach will soon cover international operations. A major issue for ships is the short life of catalytic components. Estimates of replacement of whole units is about a million USD – labor included.
Although not an Elon Musk (Tesla) idea, we are seeing most newer ships outfitted with electric propulsion. 20 million watts generated is not uncommon. This provides a quieter ride with less vibration. If you’ve ever roomed at the rear (aft) of the ship, you can feel the engines groaning away.
How about hydrogean power? That means the most abundant element in the universe is used to generate power and the only waste is water. Norway will develop the world’s first hydrogen–powered cruise ship. Viking Cruises is aiming at zero-emission technology.
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In a move that shocked the cruise industry, the CEO of Crystal Cruises abruptly resigned yesterday, Edie Rodriguez has left the company she lead since 201. Under her command, the #1 rated all-inclusive cruise giant was purchased by Hong Kong base Genting.
Ms Rodriquez led a complete transformation of the line fro two stellar ships, the Serenity and the Symphony to an offering that will comprise 3 more ocean liners (one a condo arrangement), 5 river ships, a fleet of yachts and two aircraft.
A 777 is being reconfigured from holding 300 pax to one with almost 90. It’s focus will be for high rollers to take extended vacations with a theme – like golf courses of the world. Imagine Scotland on Monday, Pebble Beach on Wenesday.
Crystal has been based in LA for many years but has expanded operations to the Miami area. Key personnel have left the company in the last few years, including the VP of Entertainment, VP of Marketing and the COO.
Specific reasons for Ms. Rodriguez departure were not released – but it’s said it was amiable. It’s hoped that more will come out soon. She has no immediate announcement as to a new position in the industry.
Tom Wolber, fresh from Disney was announced as the new CEO – effective now. While with Disney for 28 years, Wolber has been President and CEO of Euro Disney and held posts at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Studies out of the UK are revealing that a younger population is now cruising. With 25M passengers projected for 2016, the lines are beginning to focus more on millennials and the like with offerings. Cruising is not just for retired CEO’s or women taking mom on her “last trip to the sunset.”
A record 1.7 million Brits were on ships last year. But it’s been noticed that the mean age is decreasing. It used to be about 55 – now it’s a few years lower.
READ – The change since 2014
Why the change? Well, obviously, people get old and die. That reduces the market. Sorry if this is cold, but it’s true. The lines are building ships with toys for the younger set. Like what? How about a cart race track, a trampoline park, ice skating (mom would never do these!)
When I was in college my frat had a Spring Formal in Ocean City, MD. It was implied that your date would stay in your room…and you hoped it would be in your bed. Eeck – for someone who was studying engineering too much to have many dates, this was difficult. But if you had a date go on a harmless cruise….and knowing you pretty well HAD to bunk up, that would suit many just fine.
All kinds of cruises are being organized. How about a nude cruise? A swingers cruise? A HipHop cruise. You get the idea. Hey – get 10 of your friends booked and YOU go free. Ships are catering to where the money is coming from.
Where are the geezers going? Safe and secure places. Too much terrorism cropping up. Barcelona will see a drop. Istanbul is already off the list. Venice and Dubrovnik are upset with all the tourists jamming into their towns. Can-cun and Cozumel are being hit with turf wars between the drug cartels. BUT Galapagos, Easter Island, Australasia, and the such will still pack them in.
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