Irish ports required to spend 20 million euros to power cruise ships
03 Aug 2023, 21:01 GMT+10
- Irish ports are facing the need to invest up to 20 million euros each by 2030 to provide electric power points for cruise liners or risk being limited to just 25 visits a year
- This is due to new EU regulations aiming to reduce carbon emissions from energy-intensive liners
- Currently, Belfast and Cork are the leading cruise liner destinations on the island, with 180 and around 100 visits per year, respectively
DUBLIN, Ireland: Irish ports are facing the need to invest up to 20 million euros each by 2030 to provide electric power points for cruise liners or risk being limited to just 25 visits a year, due to new EU regulations aiming to reduce carbon emissions from energy-intensive liners.
Currently, Belfast and Cork are the leading cruise liner destinations on the island, with 180 and around 100 visits per year, respectively. These numbers are expected to increase in the coming years.
Under the new regulations, ports will be required to offer 15 megawatts of electricity hook-up to cruise liners, equivalent to powering a town of 30,000 people. This green power is crucial to support the vast energy needs of the massive new cruise liners being constructed.
Royal Caribbean, for instance, is building two mammoth ships with 20 decks each, accommodating up to 7,600 passengers and 2,350 crew members. The liners demand substantial energy to keep their numerous systems running.
Captain Michael McCarthy, the chairman of Cruise Europe, representing 135 ports, claims that the cruise liner industry is already ahead in addressing environmental concerns, with significant energy-saving and recycling practices in place on these large vessels.
“Shipping worldwide accounts for 3 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, with bulk carriers, tankers, and container ships the main contributors. In comparison, energy uses for road, rail, and air transport is around 73 percent,” he said.
Of note, the rise in Mediterranean temperatures due to heat waves is affecting traditional port destinations in Europe. Cruise passengers are now seeking more temperate areas to disembark for excursions, with older travelers avoiding scorching harbors in the Mediterranean. Ports in Greece and Italy are worried about losing tourism revenue as temperatures continue to soar.
In contrast, Ireland is seen as an attractive option for cruise passengers seeking cooler temperatures and cultural experiences. Capt. McCarthy mentions a growing trend of year-round cruise liner trips from ports like Hamburg and Southampton, venturing to colder destinations such as Norway, Iceland, and Greenland. He sees this as a significant opportunity for Ireland to promote attractions, including the Wild Atlantic Way.