2017 was a successful year for AIDA Cruises. We were able to welcome more than a million guests on board our twelve ships for the first time. We are extremely grateful for the trust that you placed in our company by choosing to spend your holiday with AIDA!
In the last year, 9,600 employees on land and at sea, hailing from more than 40 countries, gave their best with great dedication, passion and a high degree of professionalism day after day in order to ensure the smooth running of our ships and to exceed the expectations of our guests. Our sales partners, suppliers and service providers at our destinations all over the world once again provided us with valuable support.
We believe that success goes hand in hand with responsibility. As a market-leader in Germany, we are acutely aware of the various challenges we face and tackle them head-on. Two central tenets of our corporate activity are to conserve natural resources and to share our success with others. We support the 2°C climate targets set out in the Paris Agreement and by the IMO (International Maritime Organization) and invest year after year in the development and introduction of new forms of environmental technology. As part of our ‘Green Cruising’ strategy, we are investing billions of euros in a future-proof cruise market - both in the field of sustainable propulsion technology and that of onboard environmental management.
Of all the fossil fuels, LNG is currently the most eco-friendly option for reducing emissions that is also usable in practice. With the launch of AIDAperla in Palma de Mallorca on 30th June 2017, we added a further ship to our fleet that can be run on liquefied natural gas with minimal emissions during port layovers. We set another milestone in September of last year when the keel of AIDAnova was laid. At the same time, our parent company, Carnival Corporation & plc, gave the starting signal for a program of construction without precedent in the cruise industry, consisting of eleven LNG-powered ships for four of the cruise lines belonging to the Carnival Corporation.
In November 2018, AIDAnova will become the first cruise liner in the world to set off on a voyage that will be powered exclusively by low-emission LNG - both while in port and at sea. Two further next-generation AIDA ships will join the fleet by 2023, which are under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg. By 2023, more than half of AIDA Cruises’s guests will travel on board cruise ships that can be run either in part or entirely on low-emission LNG.
We have also set our sights on improving the ecological footprint of our existing fleet: nine of the twelve ships in the AIDA fleet are either already fitted with a shore power connection or are technically prepared to be fitted with one. After the successful completion of the test phase in 2016, since April 2017 AIDAsol has been supplied with green power in Hamburg Altona via a shore power facility. A total of 22 stopovers in Hamburg Altona are planned for AIDAsol in 2018. As part of a modernization partnership with the state of Schleswig-Holstein, the city of Kiel and its port, plans are in place to construct a shore power infrastructure in Kiel in 2019 so that two further ships in the AIDA fleet will be able to utilize green shore power in years to come. AIDA Cruises' declared goal is to fully equip all ships with a shore power connection by 2020.
Thanks to numerous other measures, we were also able further to improve our ecological footprint in 2017. Examples of this include having reduced water and energy consumption per person on board, having cut back on food waste and having increased our energy efficiency. We moreover support the preservation of cultural and biological diversity and are involved in a range of different projects and initiatives that focus on our employees, guests and wider society.
We attach great importance to cooperating with the ports and tourism sectors in our destinations in order to involve local people, through which they can share in our financial success and we can conserve resources. Only through such measures will we be able to safeguard our success as a cruise provider in the future. I warmly invite you to find out more about these and many other initiatives in our latest sustainability report, ‘AIDA cares 2018’.
With warm regards,