New EU emissions rules 'could put cruise services in jeopardy'

New EU emissions rules 'could put cruise services in jeopardy'

Some cruise and ferry services are in jeopardy due to new EU regulations on emissions, it has been claimed.

Passenger Shipping Association chairman Simon Johnson urged the two sectors to continue lobbying together as the organisation prepares to disband.

From May 1, responsibilities for the cruise and ferry sectors will be split between two organisations for the first time in 55 years.

Cruise lobbying will rest with the newly-established Clia Europe, while ferries will be represented by the UK Chamber of Shipping.

In an interview with Travel Weekly, Johnson said the two sectors must work together to deal with new rules on sulphur emissions, which come into force in 2015.

“Unless we get some concessions there is a real threat to the longer ferry routes,” said Johnson.

“In cruise there’s a choice where operators deploy ships, but if it becomes too expensive they will just move them around; ferries, however, are lifelines.

“The idea is to be greener, and we are not against that. But if routes close it will force everyone on to short-sea crossings or on to aircraft.”

Clia UK, which is part of a new global cruise organisation, will be officially unveiled at the UK Selling Cruise Conference in Southampton in May.

The only ferry responsibility it will retain is as ombudsman for complaints under the European Passenger Right Directive. Johnson said there had been barely any complaints since rights were extended to sea passengers in December.

Jo Rzymowska, UK general manager of Royal Caribbean, will take over as Clia UK chairman in May for an interim period until the end of the year when a new constitution will be agreed.

❯ To book a place at the Selling Cruise Conference on May 23-25, go to Cruiseexperts.org

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