In January 2012, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council (now CLIA Europe) launched the Global Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review which has led 10 new safety policies for the industry.

“Without safety there is no cruise industry,” said CLIA President and CEO, Christine Duffy, on a teleconference announcing the results of the review on December 19. Click here to see all the policies.

The review was launched shortly after the Concordia incident, with the first policy involving mustering.

The policies are proactive and were designed to be implemented rapidly, said Duffy, and they all exceed current regulatory standards.

The guidelines were overseen by an independent panel of experts, comprised of:

  • Stephen Meyer, Retired Admiral and Former Commander, Royal Navy
  • Mark Rosenker, Former Chairman of the United States National Transportation Safety Board
  • Willem de Ruiter, Former Head and Executive Director of the European Maritime Safety Agency
  • Dr. Jack Spencer, Former Director, Office of Marine Safety, United States National Transportation Safety Board

Duffy added that the panel will stay on to assist the industry with ideas, guidance and what she called impartial analysis.

Furthermore, all CLIA member lines unanimously approved each new safety policy.

Rosenker explained that every aspect of the cruise business is monitored and regulated under U.S., EU and international law, and that the panel looked extensively at the industry, visiting simulators, watching mustering and evacuation drills, in addition to meeting with the task force assembled post-Concordia.

“The cruise industry was very receptive to our input throughout the entire process,” said Rosenker, “we were impressed with the level of cooperation.”

For the last 11 months, the review was an absolute top priority, according to Budd Darr, vice president, technical and regulatory affairs for CLIA.

Senior executives from the cruise operators looked at safety, navigation, evacuation, training and more, he said, explaining that high-level discussions regularly took place between member lines, CLIA, other associations and the IMO Secretary General.

And while the Concordia stands out in a business with a commendable safety record, Duffy said that “even the safest industries must constantly and continuously examine their own procedures.”