Latest Sustainability News | September 06, 2023

River cruise industry unites to drive innovation and sustainability

CLIA and IG River Cruise announce a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen cooperation and lay out a framework that will help river cruising to achieve its sustainability goals.

River cruise operators are pursuing efforts to reduce emissions. Cross-sectoral collaboration will help river cruise operators to address the common challenges that must be overcome to achieve this ambition. These challenges include the need for available sustainable marine fuel, enhanced port infrastructure and new technologies, as well as a regulatory environment that fosters investment allowing energy decisions to be taken in due time.

Andy Harmer, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, CLIA said: "This is a step forward in bringing together the river cruise community and raising our collective voice. Enhanced cooperation between CLIA and IG River Cruise will bolster our ability to serve as a source of knowledge for Governments and destinations. Collaboration is key to innovation and will benefit the entire European river cruise sector."

Arno Reitsma, President of IG River Cruise and CEO of Scylla AG, said: "The river cruise industry already sought references from ocean Ships, such as aligning ship design components. It is only logical, therefore, that we also share a common path in the area of sustainability."

According to the MOU, joint areas of cooperation will include:

  • Information exchange to ensure the regulatory environment supports sustainable growth of river cruising in Europe.
  • Sharing of environmental data and industry research to articulate the benefits of cruising to the blue economy.
  • Collaboration on research and development and innovation priorities in Europe to help achieve collective sustainability goals.

The MOU, announced today at CLIA's Port & Destination Dialogue in Hamburg, will be followed by a joint CLIA and IG River Cruise meeting to take place on 18 October 2023.

The river cruise market has experienced incredible growth. The opening of the Main-Danube Canal has led to a growth from initially less than 40 river cruise ships in the 1990's to more than 400 today. The sector is experiencing strong growth with several ships currently on order in European shipyards.