Page 26: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Jan/Feb 2019)

Cruise Ports Annual

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Another way of defning the market is that they ofer unique experiences, with emphasis on unique, focusing on the natural and cultural environments by visiting environmentally sensitive areas. They capitalize on their small size and shallow draft and low passenger numbers to go where the big ships can’t.” – Professor Andrew Coggins, Marketing Professor at Pace University operators and tour operators who charter their ships. The ships we launch the world’s frst luxury exploration yacht going to range from 30 years plus to brand new in age. They can be the North Pole and utilizing eco friendly LNG, we will bunker relatively spartan to very luxurious. They can be yacht-like in Kirkenes, Norway. It all comes down to proper and prudent small ships or former-Russian icebreakers. Passenger capac- planning and communications in advance.” ity is in the 100 to 200 passenger range.” He adds quickly, “Another way of defning the market is that they offer unique

Sustainability: the new normal experiences, with emphasis on unique, focusing on the natural Passengers are increasingly sensitive to cruise operators’ and cultural environments by visiting environmentally sensi- sustainability practices. Edie Rodriguez told MLPro, “At tive areas. They capitalize on their small size and shallow draft Ponant we vet each location that we go to prior, during and and low passenger numbers to go where the big ships can’t.” after our visits. Our goal is to always be as eco friendly on and off of our vessels, to our oceans, and respectful to the places

Expedition Cruising: that we visit. Hopefully, we leave each place just as it was be- fore we arrived, yet better via contributing to their economic leading edge technologies

Not surprisingly, “expedition cruising” in smaller ships, with and environmental state in a myriad of positive ways.” destinations such as Antarctica, the Fjords of Norway, and is- Though new rules restricting the sulfur content in fuels don’t lands in the Pacifc, is a sector attracting travelers, but is at the kick in until January 1, 2020, Ponant’s transition to low sul- same time, also showcasing the leading edge of technological fur gasoil (marine diesel) has begun a year earlier, in January innovation for passenger vessels. The expedition sector, where 2019. Such actions do not go unnoticed by demanding cus- the vessels are described as “yachts”, speaks to the identifed tomers. Ms. Rodriquez explained: “I think that sustainability is trends, and has seen tremendous growth. Lin Humphrey, Ph.D. important for most of today’s global wanderlust travelers and a Professor of Marketing at Florida International University some make decisions based on a company’s initiatives as to (FIU) whose career has included a stint at Carnival Corp, told doing business with those companies, not just regarding trav-

MLPro, “I am bullish on this segment of the market,” point- el companies. At Ponant and our parent company and sister ing to earlier forays into the marketplace by Celebrity Cruises companies we take sustainability as a priority and an important (founded by the Greek Chandris family, and part of Royal issue. We all are very proud of our records regarding Sustain-

Caribbean since the late 1990s) with its Xpedition offerings. ability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in general.”

He added, “They were willing to take a risk with their audi- Dr. Humphrey, from FIU, acknowledged that the cruise in- ence and offer a unique product to a more discerning traveler.” dustry has sometimes come under fre from environmental

These early efforts paved the way for today’s entrants. groups. But he stressed that: “…we’ve also seen positive press

The French operator Ponant, a powerhouse in this segment with proactive communication around on-board efforts, like mentioned by Dr. Humphrey, is vying for the lead in Polar Royal Caribbean’s Save the Waves and Virgin Voyages’ com- expedition vessels. Its Polar Code 2 (or “PC2” with ice break- mitment to eliminating single use plastics on the ships. Many ing capabilities) designated Le Commandant Charcot, to be consumers may only hear about these initiatives when stories delivered from Vard’s Tulcea yard in 2021, will feature LNG run on the news, and the industry can continue to improve propulsion with the ability to switch over to battery power. their communication on environmental protection.” Pointing

In discussing this vessel, Mrs. Edie Rodriguez, Ponant’s to fueling alternative, a hot topic across the maritime universe,

Americas Brand Chairman, explained to MLPro, “… when he suggested: “There is an opportunity to tell a compelling 26 Maritime Logistics Professional January/February 2019 | |

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Maritime Logistics Professional magazine is published six times annually.