Royal Caribbean Group has said it has “laid important groundwork for the industry’s alternative fuel ambitions” following the completion of biofuel testing on two ships.
The company began testing biofuels last year and expanded the trial this summer in Europe to two additional ships — Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Apex.
The biofuel blends tested were produced by purifying renewable raw materials like waste oils and fats and combining them with fuel oil to create an alternative fuel that is “cleaner and more sustainable”, a statement said.
Symphony of the Seas operated from the Port of Barcelona and Celebrity Apex from the Port of Rotterdam.
Both ships ran multiple sailings using biofuel and contributed “critical data on the fuel’s capabilities”.
The group added that the results will accelerate plans to continue testing the use of different types of biofuels on upcoming European sailings this autumn.
Royal Caribbean Group is also exploring strategic partnerships with suppliers and ports to ensure the availability of biofuel and infrastructures.
Royal Caribbean ‘one step closer’ to net-zero aim
Royal Caribbean Group president and CEO Jason Liberty said: “This is a pivotal moment for Royal Caribbean Group’s alternative fuel journey.
“Following our successful trial of biofuels this summer, we are one step closer to bringing our vision for net-zero cruising to life.
“As we strive to protect and promote the vibrant oceans we sail, we are determined to accelerate innovation and improve how we deliver vacation experiences responsibly.”
Port of Barcelona president Lluís Salvadó added: “Royal Caribbean’s success is a clear example of how commitment to innovation makes possible the development of solutions to decarbonise the maritime sector.
“Innovation and collaboration between ports and shipping companies is key to accelerate the decarbonisation of maritime transport.”
A recent report from CLIA highlighted that the cruise sector was making “concrete progress in advancing its environmental and sustainability agenda”.