Mediterranean cruises: commitments honored
logistics | SupplyChain | Shipping
Par Ibrahima DIALLO
6 February 2024 / 12:28

More than 80% of the ships audited as part of a charter to accelerate the sustainable development of cruise lines operating in the French Mediterranean have been certified as meeting their commitments, according to an initial assessment presented at the Euromaritime trade show, which ends on February 8 in Marseille.

Audits were carried out on 14 ships by the specialized firm LRQA. 4 achieved the 80% commitment score required for immediate certification. 8 ships reached the 80% threshold after an action plan. 2 have not been certified and will be monitored in 2024.

15 new ships will be audited by 2024, according to Stéphan Rousseau, deputy director of the Direction Interrégionale de la Mer Méditerranée.

25 companies involved

Marie-Caroline Laurent, Managing Director Europe of the International Cruise Operators Association (Clia), welcomed the initial results of this "worldwide first".

A total of 25 of the 43 cruise lines operating in French waters have signed the "Sustainable Cruise Charter for the Mediterranean", launched in October 2022 with the French government.

The charter contains 13 commitments, ranging from the protection of marine habitats to measures to avoid collisions with cetaceans, and to reduce solid and liquid waste and pollutant emissions. On this last point, the charter anticipates the limits of the Low Sulfur Emission Zone (Seca), which will come into force throughout the Mediterranean in 2025.

Aiming for sustainability

The charter is intended to promote "the sustainable development of cruising, but also its acceptability", noted Éric Banel, Director General of Maritime Affairs, at a time when anti-cruise actions have been carried out in Mediterranean ports in the south of France.

Local residents' groups and NGOs have also taken legal action against the atmospheric pollution generated by ships during their ports of call, when they run their engines to supply on-board electricity. In response, several ports have begun work to bring electricity to ships at berth.

According to the first report drawn up by the French government and presented in Marseilles, 1,700 calls were counted in 2023 in ports along the French Mediterranean coast, made by 148 ships, 115 of which belonged to charter signatory companies. Three ports accounted for 57% of calls: Marseille (622, 36.6%), Ajaccio (196, 11.5%) and Cannes (160, 9.4%).

L’Antenne, avec l’AFP




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