In brief: cruise news July 2019 issue
Venice cruise ban?
WHEN MSC Opera collided with Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s River Countess in Venice following a mechanical failure last month, it prompted renewed discussions about whether large cruise vessels should be allowed to access the city via the Giudecca Canal.
Italy’s Minister of the Environment Sergio Costa took to social media in the aftermath of the accident, calling for a ban on cruise ships on the waterway.
Cruise Lines International Association’s Chairman Adam Goldstein welcomed the calls, stating “The cruise industry has worked diligently with the Mayor of Venice…to allow larger cruise ships to access the Marittima berths without transiting the Giudecca Canal”.
Trump quits Cuba
The cruise industry was thrown into a state of flux after the Trump Administration made a snap decision to revise its travel regulations to Cuba by eliminating the “group people-to-people” educational travel category which allowed cruise lines to visit the Caribbean nation.
Brands were forced to scramble and immediately change their itineraries to find alternative destinations in the region such as Mexico and The Cayman Islands.
The tourism sanctions were motivated by what the US Government claims is Cuba playing a “destabilising role in the Western Hemisphere”.
Ponant’s eco pledge
French cruise operator Ponant recently launched the Ponant Foundation, a program designed to further support the research and conservation of marine ecosystems.
“Well aware of the challenge and the scale of the task, we remain true to our belief as sailors eager to share our passion for the oceans,” said Jean Emmanuel Sauve, CEO of Ponant and member of the Board of Directors of the Ponant Foundation.
One of the first projects taken on by the program is the Aladabra Clean Up, which works to preserve the Aladabra Atoll in the Seychelles.
Ponant scored the award for “Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative — ocean or ocean-based cruise operator” at the inaugural Travel Daily Travel & Tourism Sustainability Awards this year.