Radical technologies are needed for the multibillion-dollar cruise ship industry and its colossal vessels to thrive in decades ahead. New rules concerning fuel and emissions are likely to impact cruise liners visiting this summer and the cruise industry faces broader long-term challenges while adding over half a billion dollars to the domestic economy.
According to CLIA's chairman Adam Goldstein, "big infrastructure investments are needed for New Zealand to attract more lucrative visits in the future." For the industry, massive clean technology investments are inevitable as consumers increasingly demand cleaner transport, and regulators punish polluting companies.
Goldstein, who is also RCCL'Royal Caribbean vice-chairman, attending a recent NZ Cruise Association Conference in Auckland, revealed that his company committed to slashing carbon emissions 40% by 2030. He added the business would ultimately either switch to cleaner fuels or institute more "advanced emission purification systems". These, known as scrubbers, intercept sulfur but are sometimes derided as emissions-dodging ploys or short-term fixes.
Goldstein also said that container shipping companies, bulk shipping companies, research institutions, battery, and fuel cell manufacturers would play a role in broader technology challenges.
Royal Caribbean Line regarded Auckland as the "flagship destination" of the country and wanted its larger, newer vessels to visit. However, the 348-m long Ovation of the Seas had to ferry passengers via tender boats into the CBD as it was unable to dock in harbour and berth.
Proposed wharf extensions have been controversial, the local political debate has reignited and legal battles have been underway.