P&O Cruises releases third annual sustainability report

By Wright Communications

In addition to marking 80 years of cruising from Australia to the Pacific Islands, the report emphasised P&O Cruises' commitment to sustainable tourism with the increasing number of cruise ship visits to island destinations.

Ann Sherry, CEO of Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, launched the report in Auckland at a major presentation, which included community and tourism leaders at the forefront of tourism initiatives in the Pacific Islands.

"Our partnerships with island communities and our commitment to sustainable tourism are now fundamental to the way we do business," Ms Sherry said.

"We live it every day by minimising our environmental footprint and helping to safeguard the vibrant island cultures that are so vital to our passengers' cruise experience."

P&O Cruises' increased number of cruise ship visits highlighted the cruise industry's general expansion in which New Zealand recorded a 32% increase in cruise passengers to nearly 56,500 in 2011.

In 2011, P&O Cruises recorded increases of 27.5% in passengers, 44% in passenger cruise days, 31% in nautical miles travelled, 30% in port calls and 40% in unique shore tours across its full cruise operations.

According to the Sustainability Report, P&O Cruises' progress in minimising its environmental footprint included.

- A 14% reduction in carbon emissions per passenger per cruise day

- A 5% reduction in fuel used per available lower berth per kilometre

- A 33% reduction in black water discharged to sea per person per day

At the presentation, Ms Sherry welcomed Elodie Jaunay from Noumea, Omayra Naisseline from Mare, Rika Hotere from Isle of Pines and Johnson Sausiara from Port Vila describing them as "the champions who have recognised and seized the economic opportunities of cruise tourism."

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