One of the cruise industry's top executives this week openly criticized new environmental rules that he says will have a profound impact on cruise lines.
Industry watcher Seatrade Insider says Carnival UK CEO David Dingle delivered a blistering speech at the opening session of the Seatrade Med conference in Cannes, France in which he called the new International Maritime Organization regulations the single largest threat to the cruise industry.
The regulations call for tough new limits on the sulphur content of the fuel used by cruise ships. By 2015, cruise ships operating in designated Emission Control Areas such as the Baltic Sea would have to burn fuel with a 0.1% sulphur limit, the news outlet says. By 2020, cruise ships operating everywhere around the globe would have to burn fuel with a 0.5% sulphur limit, with a possible delay to 2025.
The new rules were ”ill thought out and (have) come in to play fragmented with numerous national and regional twists, Dingle said, according to Seatrade Insider. Despite being badly researched and badly thought out, the fact is that this regulation is already here.
Dingle said he believed growing pressure would see the entire Mediterranean region designated as an Emission Control Area, forcing cruise lines to burn much more expensive, low-sulphur diesel fuel, Seatrade Insider says.
Such a switch would have profound implications, Dingle argued. If cruise shipping goes completely diesel, then there will be a 20% increase in demand (for diesel fuel) with no new refinery capacity, which means that this will have a huge global impact,” Seatrade Insider quotes Dingle as saying.