Royal Caribbean's latest video is all about the flow onboard. Kind of looks like a well choregraphed, fun-filled dance, sorry, experience onboard.
If this whet's your appetite, check out the latest Royal Caribbean deals on offer.
The cruise industry is working hard to reduce waste and carbon emissions and become more eco-friendly. From solar panels to powering private islands with waste materials cruise companies have been making great strides in becoming greener.
Modern ships are now being designed with the environment in mind, which can only be a good thing.
One of the biggest changes is to the hull on cruise ships. By painting the hull with a silicon based paint, the ships glide through water more easily, therefore saving fuel. Royal Caribbean Cruises have taken this a step further by designing aerodynamic hulls, increasing the benefit of this fuel saving tactic.
Air conditioning is one of the biggest drains on a cruise ship’s resources. Constant cooling and recycling of the air around cabins and public spaces requires a lot of energy.
Holland America Line has coated the windows of their ships in a dark film, which protects the cabins and rooms from the heat of the sun, therefore reducing the work for the air con systems.
Royal Caribbean have another approach to this, during winter months they turn off one of the ship’s engines. This isn't to cut down the amount of air conditioning, but is due to the reduced demand. The fact that they do this by turning off an entire engine demonstrates the vast amount of power required to keep the ship cool.
Disney Cruise Line use water generated from their air conditioning to run the onboard laundry services. Rather than storing water or treating water as others do they are using the waste product very productively.
Ships generate thousands of gallons of black and grey water which requires treatment, but following thousands, sometimes millions of pounds of investment (Royal Caribbean have spent $100 million) on redeveloping onboard water treatment facilities ships are now able to turn their waste water into a product often cleaner than the water that comes out of your tap at home. Although this water is still dumped into the sea, as it is technically clean enough to drink and therefore doesn’t result in any pollution.
Fuel is a key economic and environmental issue for cruise lines. Keeping the incredible ships at afloat and operating at 100% takes a huge amount of energy. Many modern ships carry up to 3,000 passengers and 1,000 crew which is the equivalent of a small town.
There have been some inventive energy saving ideas in relation to reducing fuel requirements. Celebrity Cruises have installed solar panels onboard their Solstice class ships to power the lighting, this coupled with a 50% reduction in energy consumption of modern lights is a great way to save the use of fossil fuel onboard.
Royal Caribbean have made a couple of changes to help reduce their use of diesel onboard. The first is the use of biodiesel, they purchase in the region of 18 million gallons per year, and the second is their use of electric gas and steam turbine engines onboard their Radiance class ships — reducing emissions by up to 98%.
A couple of cruise lines recycle their waste cooking oil. Disney Cruise Line keep the oil, store it and take it to their private island, Castaway Cay, where they use it to power machinery — saving around 8,000 gallons of fuel per year. Norwegian Cruise Lines donate their used cooking oil to farmers in port cities as part of their ‘Free fuel for farmers’ campaign — which is a great way of helping communities and recycling.
Regional Environmental Regulations
The state of Alaska has put in place some strict regulations to protect their coastline.
All ships have to have a permit to cruise along the stunning coastline. The permit ensures that each ship meets regulations in regards to air and water pollution, the dumping of treated water and biodegradable food waste and other environmental impacts.
Ships engines must have vastly reduced carbon emissions to be permitted in Alaskan waters, hence Royal Caribbean’s gas turbines on the Radiance class ships, and they must also turn their engines off while in port. The ports offer power hook-ups, which are like those found in a caravan park but on a much larger scale.
The US National Park has also taken measures to reduce the environmental impact of cruising in Alaska and there are strict regulations for the passage through Glacier Bay. Only one ship at a time is permitted to enter the bay and the number of total visits per season is also restricted.
Alaska is leading the way in protecting their coastline and it would be great for other endangered coastlines to enforce similar regulations.
Cruising is becoming more popular as a means of exploring our stunning planet so these measures and more are required to ensure that we preserve it’s natural beauty.
A little video from Royal Caribbean on their efforts to recycle onboard.
Disney Cruise Line
Holland America Line
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Azamara Cruises have recently announced that when the Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey return to Europe in April 2013, they will be offering all-inclusive style cruising. Currently wine is included with dinner and from next year selected wines, spirits, beers and speciality coffees will be included to. But that's not what has got us excited.
Azamara also announced that their cruises will included one complimentary evening shore excursion each cruise, the AzAmazing evenings. I will go into more details shortly, but these trips include dinner on the Amalfi coast, a polo match and reception in St. Tropez and an evening of ballet in St. Petersburg. If you ask me, this is where Azamara boast the WOW factor.
The whole summer is filled with fantastic destinations, evenings filled with local cuisine, culture and stunning vistas. Here are a few of my hand-picked favourites from our sneak peak of what Azamara are set to offer in 2013:
Cocktails & Concert
Imagine sitting on top of a cliff, 350m above the gorgeous Amalfi coast, while being treated to local delicacies and superb cocktails. Well, that's exactly what you could be doing onboard Azamara Quest when she sails to the Amalfi coast in September '13. The evening consists of cocktails and a concert in the charming village of Ravello, over-looking the Gulf of Salerno. A nighttime jazz concert will be followed by some Italian fizz — I love prosecco — and a variety of delicious pastries and sweets, while you take in the views.
Tuscan Treats & Tenors
Tuscany is Italy's most renowned region, and being the home of Chianti — another favourite tipple of mine — and Italian legends Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo, Boccaccio, Botticelli, Dante and Puccini, you can see why. The flavours of Tuscany tour will treat you to evening entertainment from the Three Tenors and the best Tuscan hospitality, wine and food — sounds culture-filled and heavenly if you ask me. From Livorno you will travel a scenic route through the countryside to either the Castello di Verrazzano or the Castello Vicchiomaggio, depending which sailing you are on.
Azamara Journey's June sailing and Azamara Quest's October sailing to Tuscany are bound to be a hit!
A Spot of Polo In St. Tropez
There's something luxuriously iconic about the St. Tropez Polo Club. Azamara Quest's visit to Monaco, with its relaxed luxury, is the perfect host for an afternoon of polo at the famous club, with the prerequisite drinks reception of course. Delicious canapés prepared by the Club’s Michelin-rated restaurant, paired with French wines, makes for the ideal accompaniment to the on-field action.
AzIbiza Beach Party
Okay, so the above title is my own shameless use of Azamara's AzAmazing phrase, but I think it works. Azamara Journey in June '13 will be treating passengers to an afternoon beach party on the hedonistic island. Heading to the Nassau Beach Club, the evening is set to relive the "make love - not war" generation for one night. The Nassau Club is one of Ibiza's places to be seen, and the Flower Power Party will be a chic, casual and relaxed evening of cocktails in the sun.
These evening excursions are a fantastic idea, as it gives you the chance to enjoy the local culture in a more immersive fashion, from the food and drinks to the setting and entertainment. There are street parties in Greece, visits to ancient sites — where debaucherous parties once took place — and culturally rich evenings of music. Cruise ships often miss the real atmosphere of some destinations be leaving before the sun sets, but Azamara will be making the most of charming, entertaining and wonderful destinations on offer in 2013.
Book with Confidence
Book with Confidence. We are ATOL Holders and members of ABTA.
You do not currently have any cruises in your shortlist.
AAA Large Online
Travel Agent of the Year 2013
What our customers say
"Many thanks to all at IGLU for your help and assistance looking forward to enjoying my cruise and would be happy to use your services in the future and to recommend to others.
- Michaelo (May 2013)
Read more feedback