The European Cruise Council, highlighting the cruise industry's commitment to responsible tourism, has called for greater cooperation between the cruise industry and destination ports to ensure that on-shore environmental protection facilities are aligned with the high standards of waste treatment and recycling already attained on board cruise ships.

In a prepared statement, Robert Ashdown, the European Cruise Council’s director of environment and operations, said: “The cruise industry is a strong vector for tourism but growth needs to be sustainable; all stakeholders therefore need to make plans now to be ready to handle the increased passenger volumes of tomorrow and to accommodate additional demands imposed by new onboard environmental protection technologies.”

Addressing the First International Day of Sustainable Development and Passenger Ships in Nice, Ashdown said: “Each ship is in control of its environmental performance at sea, but protecting the destinations requires cooperation between the cruise industry and the destination itself. The cruise industry would like to see much greater improvement in the port reception facilities available to cruise ships so that the disposal of waste streams are handled in as environmentally-friendly a manner as possible and that the high levels of recycling and waste segregation carried out on-board are carried forward onshore.”

Noting that the cruise industry and destination ports share common objectives in seeking to maximise growth whilst ensuring that each destination remains in pristine condition, Ashdown said new onboard technologies aimed at minimising the environmental impact of ships, such as ballast water treatment systems, exhaust gas scrubbers, and waste water treatment systems, would all result in additional discharges ashore, requiring preparation by the ports themselves.