Alan Lam reporting from Malta
The 52nd MedCruise General Assembly is currently under way in Malta. About 130 delegates from MedCruise partner organisations, cruise lines and international medias have gathered in Valletta — the European Capital of Culture 2018 — to discuss the latest trends in the Mediterranean cruise business and the issues it faces.
In this golden era of cruising, while the MedCruise partners continue to expand their collective vision of growth into the future and beyond its boundaries, especially to the emerging markets of China and other Asian regions, the focuses of the association are also firmly on other challenges and developments; one of them being making efforts to provide LNG bunkering services to cruise ships.
MedCruise’s dedicated LNG working group has carried out extensive studies and gathered valuable information on the viability of various methods of LNG supplies to cruise vessels operating to and from its ports — a service it considers to be essential for the future development of cruise business in the Mediterranean.
Experts from cruise lines and ports offered their views and suggestions for the way forward. There are many technical, social, commercial and regulatory hurdles ahead. Many Mediterranean ports, because of various idiosyncrasies, must confront unique challenges in this regard. With and increasing number of LNG-powered cruise ships coming on stream, the ports and all the stakeholders of the region need to work together to find a path through the labyrinth of rules, local oppositions and other obstacles in order to ensure the continuation of this golden era of cruising.
In this connection, the 52nd MedCruise General Assembly also discussed trends in shipbuilding and port development, with specific references to the region.
A full-length analytical feature on the key topics discoursed at the Assembly will appear in the next issue of Cruise Business Review