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CLIA Europe's Laurent: Time to celebrate Europe's excellence

CLIA Europe's Marie-Caroline Laurent addressing the CLIA Summit in Paris
‘We are at a crucial moment in the future of the cruise industry in Europe,' Marie-Caroline Laurent, director general of CLIA Europe told the CLIA European Summit which finished Friday in Paris.

‘Europe in on a clear and ambitious path to lead the fight against climate change and drastically reduce emissions. This is a course CLIA members have been charting for several years already, with the building of new vessels, using new types of fuels and equipping them with shore-side electricity connections, commented Laurent.

Fitting venue

Held at the Maison de l’Ocean, a prestigious historic building in the heart of Paris which for over 100 years has inspired people about art and science and to protect the oceans in accordance with the wishes of its founder Prince Albert I of Monaco, the setting could not have been better suited to the discussion.

Choosing France for the summit was also important to Erminio Eschena, president of CLIA France, ‘as the country has a special and innovative place in the cruise sector through its yards and its decisions concerning the energy transition.’

Social sustainability

Edouard Philippe, former French prime minister from 2012 to 2017 and current mayor of Le Havre called himself 'a fervent and convinced European,' and highlighted his port city’s sustainability efforts including the introduction of shore power for cruise ships in 2025. He also explained how the new cruise terminal being built at Le Havre’s Pointe de Floride will integrate with the city and make residents happy and proud to welcome cruise ships.

Laurent Castaing, general manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique detailed the builder’s many green innovations focussed on emissions reduction, water treatment and new fuel technologies. ‘Energy efficiency is vital as we won’t be able to operate our ships otherwise,' adding, 'the [Silenseas] sail technology we developed will reduce emissions by 30%. Fuel cells will be a good technology in a few years.’

Cruise commitment

In her closing remarks Laurent said: ‘Today is an important day. We could see and feel the enthusiasm and commitment of, and to, our industry.’

Later, she told Seatrade Cruise News: ‘All attendees here show how important it is to meet about political subjects. Some 93% of the world’s oceangoing cruise ships are built in Europe. This Summit is a first step and aims at expanding our voice and explaining how important this sector is in terms of European excellence. [We need to] talk about protecting our jobs, our experience and our expertise. The cruise industry can’t be sidelined.’