Columbia Cruise Services: It’s All About Sustainability

Olaf Groeger Columbia

Columbia Cruise Services is drydocking the majority of the Marella and Hapag-Lloyd fleets, as well as working on potentially five new cruise projects, the details of which are under wraps.

“After the pandemic break, everybody wants to not necessarily modify the ships, but to refurbish them and (do) everything that was not done in the last 18 months,” the Managing Director of Columbia Cruise Services Olaf Groeger said, according to the 2022 Drydocking and Refurbishment Report by Cruise Industry News.

According to Groeger, two of Columbia’s five new projects involve hotel chains.

“With a lot of cruise lines reducing their operations due to the pandemic, hotel chains saw an opportunity. We are in discussions with two new clients (hotel chains) going into the cruise business very soon. They are more on the luxury side rather than in the mass market side … And one of the fastest growing hotel chains is entering the cruise business.”.

According to Groeger, recent trends in terms of Columbia’s cruise projects have been efficiency-related.

“Everything revolves around sustainability, that’s probably the word of the decade. Energy efficiency is what you are being measured against and will have to compare your operation against. On one side, it’s alternative propulsion systems. But on the bottom line is your carbon footprint for passenger miles and nautical miles. It’s a key factor, which you then basically want to compare,” Groeger explained.

“You want to be as green as possible. It started with some ferries in Norway with hydrogen. LNG is of course in the picture, too. You’re looking at making the least possible impact on the environment and coming up with the least energy consumption. And the energy that you do produce you want to generate in the most environmentally friendly way possible. In this respect, the future is looking at wind and solar energy, also on ships. And we are developing these concepts for existing and future clients,” he added.

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