Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Apex and Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas are set to make waves in the cruise industry with their upcoming extended sustainable biofuel tests in Europe this summer.
Leading cruise provider Royal Caribbean Group, aims to achieve a significant milestone on its path toward achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 by increasing its use of sustainable biofuels to power two ships: Celebrity Apex and Symphony of the Seas — the world’s third largest cruise ship — showcasing its commitment to alternative fuel. Maritime emissions account for approximately 2 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
During the three-month trial period, Celebrity Apex will depart from the Port of Rotterdam, while Symphony of the Seas will set sail from the Port of Barcelona. Both ships will rely on a specially formulated biofuel blend that will help reduce their carbon emissions. This blend is created by refining renewable raw materials, such as oils and fats, and combining them with fuel oil, resulting in a cleaner and more sustainable alternative fuel source.
Jason Liberty, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, emphasized the importance of biofuels in achieving the maritime sector’s decarbonization goals. “We take great pride in continuing to push our industry forward in exploring innovative fuel solutions that reduce carbon impact and preserve the vibrancy of the oceans we sail,” Liberty said in a statement.
This trial is a crucial step for Royal Caribbean Group, as the company aims to increase the utilization of alternative, lower-carbon fuels across its fleet. Once the tests are completed this summer, the company plans to expand the use of alternative fuels, including biofuels, for upcoming European summer cruises.
Liberty highlighted the company’s commitment to collaboration and innovation, aiming to create strategic partnerships with suppliers and ports to ensure the availability of biofuels and the necessary infrastructure to support a transition towards cleaner maritime energy. “With our sights set on a bright and sustainable future, we are committed to collaboration and innovation to ensure we deliver great vacation experiences, responsibly,” Liberty said.
This latest venture into biofuels follows a successful biofuel trial on the Navigator of the Seas, a California-based cruise ship. The Navigator of the Seas became the first cruise ship to sail from a U.S. port while using renewable diesel fuel, further demonstrating Royal Caribbean Group’s dedication to exploring sustainable fuel options.
Royal Caribbean Group’s sustainability journey began over 30 years ago and continues to evolve. The company has been actively investing in technologies to improve energy efficiency, water treatment, waste management, and now, the exploration of biofuels. By conducting these trials, the company moves closer to its vision of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, known as Destination Net Zero.
Royal Caribbean Group operates a fleet of 64 ships that visit approximately 1,000 destinations worldwide through its three acclaimed cruise brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises. Through its dedication to sustainability and innovation, Royal Caribbean Group remains at the forefront of the cruise industry, striving to create a more environmentally responsible future.
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