We will drive environmental improvements across our cruise operations

TUI Group operates cruise ships across three brands – TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Marella Cruises.

Carbon emissions and air pollution from sulphur and nitrogen particles and other fine particulate matter pose environmental challenges for the cruise industry. We are constantly improving the environmental performance of our fleet by investing in new, more fuel-efficient ships.

In the past year we achieved a further 6.5 % carbon efficiency improvement across our cruise operations. That’s an overall 11.7 % reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger night compared to our 2015 baseline. Our ongoing programme of refits to existing ships and investment in new-build vessels that deploy the latest environmental technologies helped achieve this. Improvements in waste and fresh water per cruise passenger night were achieved as part of the fleet renewal process and use of enhanced water desalination facilities across the cruise businesses.


TUI Cruises

A class act
In May 2018, the new Mein Schiff 1 went into service for TUI Cruises as one of the most energy-efficient ships of its class. Its sister ship, the new Mein Schiff 2, entered the fleet in February 2019. The original Mein Schiff 1 now sails under the Marella brand as the Marella Explorer. New-build vessels launching in 2019, the Hanseatic Nature and Hanseatic Inspiration, will renew the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet. Two further new-build ships using cleaner liquefied natural gas will be delivered in 2024 and 2026.

Full steam ahead for high-tech
New-build ships in the TUI Cruises fleet save fuel by utilising the latest technologies, including:

  • Smart energy management system
  • Efficient air conditioning
  • Innovative lighting controls
  • Use of engine waste heat
  • Hydrodynamic hull shape
  • Comprehensive LED concept
  • Environmentally friendly underwater silicone painting

The energy-efficient new-builds Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 consume around 40 % less fuel than ships of comparable size. The new-builds also have up to 99 % lower sulphur emissions due to scrubber technology that treats exhaust fumes before they are released. These advanced emission purification systems are deployed on all TUI Cruises’ routes.

TUI Cruise' new build ships can operate in a completely closed-loop system, with zero discharge into the sea. This means that the scrubbers from the exhaust gas treatment system do not discharge any used scrubber wash water at sea but instead dispose of it exclusively on shore. TUI Cruises applies this self-imposed policy to all ports worldwide, in coastal areas up to a distance of three miles from the shore, as well as in the entire Baltic Sea region, the Norwegian Fjords, and the North Sea Canal.

No appetite for food waste
Food waste is a central concern for sustainable tourism, but little research has been done to date on reducing food waste on cruise liners. In 2017, TUI Cruises explored how to cut food waste with the travel industry initiative Futouris e.V. and non-profit organisation United Against Waste e.V. Initial analysis onboard Mein Schiff 4 aimed to reduce resource consumption and encourage crew and guests to avoid food waste. Using a waste analysis tool and applying various measures onboard led to a 17 % reduction in food waste.

Innovations included using recyclable elements for restaurant decoration, rather than food, and optimising the arrangement and quantities of food at the buffet, such as smaller buffet inserts at the end of the buffet time – avoiding unnecessary waste while keeping the food supply diverse. The measures have now been rolled out to the entire Mein Schiff fleet. In 2019, crew members will be trained to continuously carry out their own waste analyses. A final report will be published and made available for the entire cruise industry.


Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

A Polar First
In 2017, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises expedition ship, MS Bremen, became the first passenger ship in the world to receive the Polar Ship Certificate, joined in 2018 by the MS Europa 2. The International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) – adopted by the International Maritime Organisation – contains regulations concerning construction, equipment and training of crews that intend to operate in the polar regions in order to increase ship safety and ensure environmental protection. The remaining ship in the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet, the MS Europa, will undergo certification in 2019, set for completion by the summer.

In December 2018, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises achieved the Environmental Passport Operation Certificate for all vessels in the fleet – an independent verification of the operator’s commitment to achieving a sustainable ship operation.

Cleaner Cruising
In January 2019, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises announced that it will use low-sulphur Marine Gas Oil (MGO) on all routes operated by Hanseatic Nature, Hanseatic Inspiration and MS Bremen from July 2020 and on the Hanseatic Spirit when it joins the fleet in 2021.

In particularly sensitive areas such as the Arctic and Antarctica, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has long used MGO, ahead of legal requirements. The low-emission fuel has a sulphur content of only 0.1 %. The new expedition ships are also equipped with SCR catalysts, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions by almost 95 %, and connectors to power the ship from shore electricity when in port.

An eco-efficient average speed for route planning and management cuts fuel consumption by a third. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ fleet has seawater desalination systems to produce clean water and biological sewage treatment systems for wastewater. Environmentally acceptable biological lubricants are used for the bow thrusters and stabilisers.


Marella Cruises

Environmental strategy for Marella
A revised sustainability strategy was launched in 2018 as part of the rebranding of Thomson Cruises to Marella Cruises. Emissions and environmental management, water and waste reduction initiatives and biodiversity and community programs are key focus areas. Measures such as the installation of new air conditioning equipment, operating with a single engine running, or drifting on passage all help Marella Cruises run at an efficient speed, cutting energy demand.

Strengthened environmental data management systems and processes are also part of the new strategy, helping to drive continued improvement in carbon, fresh water consumption and waste production per passenger cruise night.