Ports of Auckland Challenged on Shore Power Plan

The Carnival Spirit is based year-round in Australia (photo: Clyde Dickens)

Ports of Auckland (POAL) has announced that it has decided to adopt the recommendation of a recent study to plan for shore power, which it said will have an estimated cost of some $18.3 million and the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent.

Commenting on POAL’s decision, however, CLIA Australasia’s managing director Joel Katz stated that a key strategy of the major cruise lines in meeting the IMO requirements is the adoption of exhaust gas cleaning system technology to achieve emission reductions. But, with the advancements in cleaner fuels and emissions abatement systems, he said, the usefulness of shore power will likely decline over time, and it should not be assumed that the next generation of cruise ships will be designed and built as shore power enabled, he said.

Katz added that it was worth noting that the Ports of Auckland said it will carry out further work on shore power, including a detailed cost estimate, a cost-benefit analysis and an investigation of funding options so there is still a lot discussion to be had with industry.

According to the POAL, cruise ships were selected for the study as the cruise industry has been proactive at addressing environmental issues over the past decade and these vessels are more frequently fitted with the onboard infrastructure required. This, combined with high individual electricity demand while at berth (compared to other vessel types), is expected to increase utilization and deliver the highest emission reduction return.

The study looked at the feasibility of a wide range of emission reduction technologies, including shore power (grid supplied, local generation including renewables, hybrid); fuel switching (methanol, LNG, low sulfur diesel); land/barge based exhaust capture systems; and ship based scrubbers.

Viable solutions were assessed against a range of social and environmental attributes in addition to the whole of life cost. This holistic approach was adopted to provide a balanced assessment of the alternatives, with consideration of the stakeholder values.

The report recommended two options: To implement shore power at one cruise berth in the next five years; and/or fuel switching to 0.1% sulfur fuel.

The report or the recommendation did not address the issue, however, that very few of the ships currently sailing year-round or seasonally from Australia are equipped to plug in.

The Carnival Spirit and Legend, for example, are not shore power enabled, according to Carnival Australia.

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MSC Names Seaside in Miami Ceremony, Announces More News

MSC Seaside

The MSC Seaside was named in a Miami ceremony by international screen legend and Godmother for all MSC Cruises’ ships, Sophia Loren. Mario Lopez hosted the evening that saw performances by Ricky Martin and Andrea Bocelli, and special guest Dan Marino, a retired NFL quarterback from the Miami Dolphins (MSC is the team’s official cruise company).

MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “MSC Seaside’s naming embodies a pivotal moment for MSC Cruises and the industry overall. She is the first ship of the fifth new prototype that we have developed since we entered this industry only in 2003 and she introduces a wholly-innovative concept that has already set a new standard for the industry to follow. The distinctive and unique Seaside Class is designed to bring guests closer to the sea to enjoy cruising in warm weather whilst pushing the boundaries of maritime and guest-centric technology – the way only a cruise line with over 300 years of maritime tradition could have done.”

MSC Cruises also announced today two new partnerships.

The first is with the Andrea Bocelli Foundation (ABF), where MSC Cruises’ guest donations will support ABF’s valuable work in Haiti.

Every dollar donated onboard by a guest will go directly to the Foundation to make a real difference, MSC said.

Vago said: “MSC Seaside will sail year around in the Caribbean and with this partnership we wish to express our commitment to giving something back to the places where we operate. This charitable activity is in fact focused on helping the children of Haiti. They are the future and deserve the best and, as a family-owned company this is a cause close to our hearts.”

To mark the launch of the partnership with ABF, the world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli took to the stage during the naming ceremony with 30 children from the Voices of Haiti, a talented choir of Haitian school students aged between 6 and 14 that brings music into the schools of the ABF and St. Luke Foundation for Haiti.

Bocelli commented: “The sea is a place of freedom; it is the guardian of fascinating wonders, of answers that help us grow. Being an artist means being an explorer. It is, therefore, a particularly joyful opportunity for me to bring on board my singing and most importantly the voices, joy and enthusiasm of the children’s choir the ‘Voices of Haiti”. This choir is the result of one of the educational projects carried out, in Haiti and beyond, by the Foundation bearing my name.”

MSC also announced a new partnership with Joe Bastianich the restaurateur, author and TV personality with thirty restaurants worldwide including New York City-based Babbo and Del Posto and Carnevino in Las Vegas. Bastianich will become the newest addition to the impressive line-up of internationally renowned chefs and restaurateurs partnering with MSC Cruises across its global fleet and will create a signature dish exclusively for MSC Seaside that will feature on the Elegant Night menu.

Carnival puts scents in a can for Caribbean promotion

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Carnival Cruise Line on Wednesday set up a vending machine in New York’s Greeley Square Park that dispensed cans filled with the scents of Caribbean destinations.

The novel promotion featured cans of Wild Banana Orchid from Grand Cayman, Puerto Rican Coffee from San Juan, Sugarcane Rum from St. Kitts and Island Coconut from Cozumel. The aluminium cans contained nothing but air and fragrance but could be “popped” like a traditional soft drink.

The vending machine, which also dispensed chances to win a free Carnival cruise, was set up in a heated tent. The promotion also featured a steel drum band and scents from the islands piped throughout the air.

Carnival said it developed the idea from research showing that that 95% of Americans agree that scent can trigger vacation memories and 56% agree that a scent motivated them to plan a vacation.

“Our #OpenFun campaign is designed to promote travel to the Caribbean by encouraging consumers to stop and smell the tropics, get a ‘scents’ of what a cruise experience might be like, and maybe win a cruise vacation,” said Stephanie Esposito, director of digital marketing for Carnival Cruise Line.

The concept is part of the participatory and interactive marketing strategy pursued by Carnival chief marketing officer Kathy Mayor.

Winter is prime time for tropical tourism promotions in cold climates. Fort Lauderdale for several years advertised its beaches with a glass-enclosed flatbed truck that featured a real sand beach with a lifeguard stand and lifeguard.  The Florida Keys in 2014 dispatched a lime-green food truck to Toronto to hand out slices of key lime pie.