Havila Voyages: Charged and ready to drive change

Havila Voyages: Charged and ready to drive change

Havila Voyages head of sales UK Matthew Valentine explains how the line intends to introduce more sustainability measures and increase trade relationships.

What should agents focus on when selling Havila Voyages?

There are a few areas where we believe we excel and offer something different to our competitors. One of the most important areas is the environment and sustainability. Havila sails the most environmentally friendly ships of this size, anywhere in the world.

Our ships can cruise for up to four hours at a time purely on battery power, allowing us to sail through fragile environments such as the Norwegian fjords almost silently and emission free.

Havila Voyages UK country manager Matthew Valentine
Havila Voyages head of sales Matthew Valentine

The batteries can then be charged using clean hydropower.

However, it doesn’t stop there. We continue to work on making our ships even more environmentally friendly in the future and are committed to retaining that focus.

Even guests who are less aware of environmental issues have commented how wonderful it is to sail through the fjords on battery power – the ship is so quiet that nature takes over and all you can hear are the waterfalls and birds.

We are also very proud of the food we offer on board our ships and believe that the culinary experience should be a key highlight of the trip.

Earlier this year, you completed the first zero-emission cruise through the Geirangerfjord – how do you intend to build on that?

Our business has been built around a desire to be as sustainable as possible. We are already sailing the most environmentally friendly ships of this size in the world, but we don’t plan to stop there.

There is so much more to do, and our ultimate goal is to be able to offer the complete 12-day trip emission free.

Havila Voyages has invested more than £41 million in new technology and our ships are ready to go to zero emissions completely from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to biogas.

We are working on biogas solutions and are investing in research projects relating to hydrogen. Once that is a viable option for passenger ships, our fleet can easily be adapted. Our ships can also connect to shore power facilities.

Other lines are ramping up their own environmental plans – how can you learn from others to ensure the industry as a whole becomes more sustainable?

We are excited to have led the way in this field and continue to invest in new technology and research, which ultimately everyone can benefit from, and which will allow us to build a more sustainable industry together.

It is essential that the industry continues to push forward and change for the better, but that only comes from continued investment and a razor-sharp focus on what is best for the environment.

Havila Voyages Norway
Havila’s use of battery power means ships can sail Norway’s fjords in near silence

Back in November 2020, you told Cruise Trade News that building trade relationships was vital – have you built those partnerships?

Building relationships within the travel trade remains key to our success and we are pleased with how far we have come. It’s never easy being the industry newcomer, but we already have partnerships with Best Served Scandinavia, Bluewater Holidays, Titan Holidays and Regent Holidays, plus many others are in the pipeline

We’ve also had great conversations with agency chains and are in the process of joining ABTA. We believe being ABTA bonded will open a number of new doors and we hope to build relationships with the consortia in the near future.

We are keen to get as many agents as possible on our ships so they can see for themselves what a wonderful product it is.

How is work progressing on Havila Polaris and Havila Pollux?

We are excited to introduce Polaris and Pollux to the fleet.

As a start-up, it has been challenging to launch so many ships in the space of a year, but that makes us even prouder to have delivered a high-quality product that continues to go from strength to strength. Havila Polaris is due to start operating on 29 December and Pollux will join the fleet in March 2023.

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