The cruise industry is committed to reducing its carbon footprint through innovative green initiatives and state-of-the-art technology. But while sustainable cruising has been in the spotlight for several years, attention has now shifted to advanced health protocols as ships prepare to set sail safely in a post-Covid world. How can we ensure that their hard work on ocean protection, sustainability, and destination stewardship continues to be a long term focus alongside healthy cruising?

Seatrade Cruise Virtual Sustainability Session Panel with Joyce Landry

To help address these issues, I was invited to participate in a special session on “Keeping the Spotlight on Sustainability” during the Seatrade Cruise Virtual Event on October 8. Other distinguished panel members were Nicolas Dubreuil, Director of Sustainability, PONANT;  Arantxa Garcia, Head of Sustainability, Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services; and Zakary Kirkpatrick, Corporate Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Alaskan Dream Cruises. The session was moderated by Jane Madden, Managing Partner, FINN Partners Global Sustainability & Social Impact.

Before you dive into the session topic, please watch this inspiring video from the PangeaSeed Foundation, Seatrade Cruise Virtual’s 2021 Sustainability Partner. The foundation’s groundbreaking ARTivism program is bringing the message of ocean conservation into streets around the world.

Interest in sustainable tourism is booming! We all agreed that today’s thoughtful travelers are searching for unique experiences that are environmentally responsible and culturally sensitive. They want to feel good about traveling. And to be honest, cruising is not what immediately comes to mind.

But that perception is about to change dramatically as the cruise industry takes the lead in sustainable stewardship. And as I pointed out, it’s an ongoing process. Today the focus might be on reducing single-use plastic, but the long-term goal is carbon-neutral cruising and the end of fossil fuel power on ships by 2030.

Sustainable travel has three components: reducing the environmental footprint, preserving culture & heritage, and supporting the local community. We discussed how many cruise lines, using the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a blueprint, are embracing all three aspects. In fact, cruising is going beyond sustainability to the next level of “regenerative travel”,  leaving the destination – and the world – in a better place. 

Keeping up With Sustainable Cruising

For more news about cruise lines at the forefront of sustainability, please visit Landry & Kling’s new website, SustainableShips.com, catch up on our “Future of Cruising” Livecast interview series, and subscribe for sustainable ship updates.

You can watch the full Seatrade Cruise Session, “Keeping the Spotlight on Sustainability” here