The world’s largest cruise company, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, is pledging to eliminate single-use plastics from the fleets of its three cruise lines.
Royal Caribbean Internationals’s President and CEO, Michael Bayley, told the Telegraph that his line had joined forces with sister brands Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises to investigate how they could reduce the amount of plastics used in the daily operations of their combined 38 ships and ultimately eliminate all single-use plastic.
“We have a newly-formed plastics team within the corporation,” he said. “We manage our waste very well but we have an exciting opportunity to play our part in the overall reduction of plastic, which, it’s becoming clear for all to see, has such a negative impact on our oceans.”
“There are three elements to this – we want to eliminate single-use, disposable plastic, such as straws and drinks bottles and reduce the amount of plastic in [the operations side of] the business – chairs, bags, staff belts and shoes for example. [We also] we want to influence our supply chain because we have to do this together.”
The company hasn’t promised any deadlines yet as Bayley said the new team was still working to understand the scale of challenge.
“It won’t happen in three months,’ he admitted. “But we should have a clear position by the end of the year.”
The core members of the plastics team, which is yet to have an official name, are staff from the three cruise lines’ safety, environmental and health departments. However, it will be expanded to include people from different areas of the company and those who work onboard the ships. Bayley added: “We’re bringing together people who are passionate about this topic.”
Royal Caribbean is the world’s largest cruise line with 24 ships and a 25th – Symphony of the Seas – launching in April, when it will take the title of the world’s largest cruise ship. Celebrity Cruises has 12 ships – soon to be 13, when Celebrity Edge arrives in November and Azamara Club Cruises will take delivery of a third ship, Azamara Pursuit, this August.
After the launch of Symphony, Royal Caribbean will unveil new features on one of the line’s most popular ships with the Brits – Independence of the Seas, which sails out of Southampton to the Mediterranean all summer long.
Independence will be the first ship in the Royal fleet to have SkyPad, a trampoline-bungee-virtual reality experience, contained in a bright yellow planet-like structure at the top of the ship.
Up to four guests will be able to bounce around on trampolines at any one time, while wearing a bungee harness, and the virtual reality headset will transport them to a range of exotic locations.
Bayley told the Telegraph: “You could be in the Alaskan wilderness, jumping off a mountain into a fjord, then bungee-ing back up. You’ll see and sense the experience as you physically go through it.”…
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