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AIDA chief urges German ports to keep up with growth

Michael Ungerer - Current port infrastructure can't handle projected growth
AIDA Cruises president and CLIA Germany chair Michael Ungerer warned current port infrastructure can't handle projected growth and the German cruise market will achieve its potential only if ports now focus on future requirements. Continuous environmental improvements are vital, too.

Between 2014 and 2017 the capacity of German cruise lines will grow by 42.9%.

'By 2016 we want to reach the 2 million mark in Germany and there may also be a further million guests on top in the upcoming three to four years,' Ungerer told the World Ports Conference in Hamburg on Thursday.

Ungerer talked about the economic impacts of the increasingly important cruise industry, focusing particularly on the Port of Hamburg, which has become one of the leading cruise destinations in northern Europe.

Another key issue is environmental performance.

'Sustainable management and the consistent protection of the environment are the guarantee for being able to successfully offer cruises in the future,' Ungerer said.

AIDA Cruises will invest around €100m in environmental and climate protection through 2016, introducing new technologies like a comprehensive exhaust gas treatment system, onshore power supply and LNG. At the Port of Hamburg, a pilot project between AIDA and Becker Marine Systems for supplying shore power from an LNG barge is so far unique in the world.

As reported here, the system was successfully tested by AIDAsol last Saturday.