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    The Government of Canada releases first results of environmental measures for cruise ships

    The Government of Canada releases first results of environmental measures for cruise shipsCanadians have been clear that they expect a healthy environment, with clean waters and clean air—and the Government of Canada is committed to achieving these results
    In April 2022, Transport Canada announced strict environmental measures for wastewater on cruise ships that exceed international standards. These measures were put in place this year as part of the restart of cruise ships entering and operating in our waters, and will help keep our oceans and environment clean. 
    As part of this new suite of environmental measures, the cruise industry was, and continues to be, required to document and report to Transport Canada on implementation. Compliance with the enhanced measures is also verified during formal inspections of cruise ships. The first set of results from this reporting demonstrates that the cruise ship industry has successfully implemented the new measures thus far this year.
    This is significant progress towards reducing the environmental impacts of cruise ships and other vessels on the water. These strict measures, along with additional planned measures for other areas of concern, including scrubber discharges that release acidic wastewater into the ocean, will continue to help keep our waters and our environment clean.
    These new measures are consistent with the Government of Canada’s commitment to keep marine ecosystems safe and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.ADVERTISEMENTQuote s“Cruise ships are an important part of our economy and tourism sector, and we must all work together to reduce their impact on the environment, and keep our waters safe and clean for everyone. These new environmental measures are a first step towards making shipping cleaner and protecting our waters from coast to coast to coast.”
    The Honourable Omar Alghabra Minister of Transport
    “Protecting the oceans and their ecosystems is a top priority. These important measures, which exceed international standards, demonstrate how the Government of Canada is taking strong action to protect the oceans for the future. This charts a more sustainable course for the tourism industry.”

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    River cruise specialists continue to contend with low water levels

    River cruise specialists say cancellations and amendments due to low river levels in Europe are impacting consumer confidence and adding to administrative workloads.
    Many lines are continuing to monitor levels and make changes to itineraries or transfer passengers between ships in low-water areas to ensure sailings can take place, as the continent endures one of the worst droughts in centuries.
    Riviera Travel, Scenic, A-Rosa River Cruises, AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways and APT confirmed they had faced challenges due to low water levels on the Danube and Rhine in recent weeks.
    Phil Nuttall, chief executive of the Travel Village Group, said the agency was getting around 10 days’ notice of cancellations and itinerary changes, with some customers willing to switch but others cancelling altogether.
    He added: “We are dealing with it as best we can but it’s another thing to throw at the industry and is really frustrating. Some people have waited all through Covid to go on their trip so it’s painful for them.”ADVERTISEMENTAlison Earnshaw, managing director of Cruise 118 parent World Travel Holdings, said the main impact was on consumer confidence for short-term departures, adding it was “definitely a barrier to sale”.
    She said: “Our Christmas market river cruise bookings are still fine, but anything between now and November is a challenge. We’re hoping those people who don’t book for this year will book for 2023 departures instead.”
    A-Rosa confirmed it had switched departure points away from Cologne, with transfers offered to Amsterdam and Duisburg, dependent on the ship.
    Rudi Schreiner, AmaWaterways co-owner, said the line had begun swapping ships on the Rhine and chartering day boats with lower draughts to transfer guests between vessels. Passengers affected are being offered future cruise credit based on levels of disruption.
    Janet Parton, Avalon Waterways sales and marketing director, said two Rhine sailings had been cancelled, but other “minor alterations” were mitigated as passengers could swap between nearly identical ships in the fleet.
    She added: “All we can do right now is focus on the more imminent sailings. Rain is forecast for Europe, let’s hope it comes.”
    Brad Bennetts, APT head of sales and business development, said all departures on the Rhine, Danube and Main rivers had gone ahead.But he said agents and customers had been offered the chance to amend their booking, book a new holiday or receive a refund if their itinerary was impacted, adding: “The booking cancellation rate is very low.”
    Riviera Travel said it had put measures such as ship swaps and itinerary changes in place but had only experienced “minimal disruption” so far.
    “We are monitoring the situation closely and working hard with our partners on-the-ground to ensure this continues,” a spokesperson added. “We’d like to thank guests for their support and understanding.”
    Scenic confirmed “key” sections of rivers it operated on had been affected but pointed out that conditions could change “significantly”.

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    World Travel & Tourism Council welcomes removal of the Travel Health Notice for cruises

    Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO said: “The decision by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to remove the Travel Health Notice for cruising is well-deserved recognition that the industry has been sailing millions of travelers for many months with highly effective protocols that make cruising among the world’s safest forms of socializing and travel.

    “The cruise industry has gained strong momentum in recent months, with many travellers anxious to again begin enjoying holidays with family and friends, and the CDC’s decision begins to help level the playing field between cruise and land-based vacation options.
    “This is also welcome news to the extensive network of suppliers, many of whom are small businesses, that depend on cruise for their success, which will continue to help provide significant positive impacts for economies and employment in countries and regions around the world.”

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