The first meeting of a working group, representing some of the main European Cruise ports, took place recently in Venice.
Delegations from seven of the main cruise destinations in Europe – Amsterdam, Palma de Mallorca, Bergen, Cannes, Dubrovnik, Malaga, Marseille Fos, answered a call received from the Port of Venice last summer to form ‘Cruise 2030 Call For Action’ forum.
A representative of the International Transport Forum (ITF) also attended.
The main goal of the initiative is to decide on a common platform of strategies to support the development of the cruise industry in a sustainable manner, with the aim of matching the needs of the industry with the demands of the cities and territories served.
Participants all agreed upon the importance of the economical and occupational aspects of the cruise industry but, at the same time, found the need to intervene in a co-ordinated way to reduce or eliminate the impacts and burdens related to the cruise industry, thus rethinking together with the operators the business model adopted thus far.
During the meeting, each port had the opportunity to point out the main issues faced, and how these are tackled. In order to achieve a better understanding, the Port of Venice has performed a survey and an assessment on the specific needs and actions necessary for each port.
The next meeting is scheduled for next January, hosted by the Port of Palma de Mallorca. In the meantime the ports agreed to work towards the drafting of a common action plan with the aim to prepare for the next meeting with a statement to be approved and adopted as a working document.
Many topics were discussed, the most significant points were summarised as:
• All ports confirm their commitment on tackling the environmental aspects, especially on reducing emissions, with specific solutions being designed in the different ports.
• There is the need to find a workable and feasible compromise between the sizes of the vessel and the geographical and physical characteristics of the European ports, many of them are in fact significantly different from the ports of the rest of the world.
• The need to improve the organisational aspect of the whole chain, in order to minimise the impact of congestions and of the negative effects on the urban mobility and the quality of life in each destination.
• The need to assess in a scientific, fact-based, figure-based, manner the impacts and implications of the cruise industry on ports and their surrounding areas.
• In doing so, there is the need to build a social, environmental and economic acceptability towards the industry from cities, regions and citizens.