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David Dingle - increasing regulations make it harder and harder to operate cruise ships in the Baltic

David Dingle’s Baltic blues

Inadequate port reception facilities (PRF) in the Baltic Sea could threaten the number of cruise ships sailing in the region was the message driven home by David Dingle, chairman of Carnival UK, at Cruise Europe’s annual conference held this week in Dublin.

‘I have to ask the question: is there sufficient PRF capacity in all the main Baltic ports to handle the numbers of ships calling on any given day?’ Dingle continued: ‘What happens to the ship’s waste if a PRF is faulty or not working to capacity when the new ruling comes into place?’

He called for protocols to tackle this issue in advance of the looming deadline when the Baltic Sea becomes a designated Special Area under MARPOL Annex IV, banning passenger ships from discharging sewage offshore from 2019/2021.

‘The Baltic worries me – it’s a fragile sea and we are seeing increasing regulations and it’s getting harder and harder to operate cruise ships there.’

On the sidelines of the conference Seatrade Cruise News asked two representatives from Baltic ports to comment on the issue of PRF.

‘It is correct that not all ports in the Baltic are in compliance with the impending regulations but all the large ports are in compliance now at most berths,’ said Henrik Ahlqvist, manager cruise & ferry and deputy harbour master, Ports of Stockholm, and Arnt Møller Pedersen, coo cruise, ferries and maritime service, Copenhagen Malmö Port.

They added new facilities will be installed during the next two years at Tallinn, Skagen and Visby, and said there is an on-going co-operation with CLIA on such issues.

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