Angie Stephen, vice-president Asia Pacific with the Royal Caribbean Group, has been talking toast and shrimps to the audience at WiT (Web in Travel) happening from 19-20 October in Singapore.
Toast and shrimps, it transpires, are part of Royal Caribbean’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint without any noticeable impact on the cruise line’s guests’ enjoyment of the experience.
It works like this: Preparing the toast across its fleet, breakfast after breakfast, day after day, Royal Caribbean uses up a good slice of power. But, by turning down the toaster a fraction and making the toast a little less “brown”, power is saved.
“We’re going down to that level of detail to conserve power,” says Stephen.
And there’s the shrimps used by the ship’s chefs. They are sourced from Vietnam and then sent to the Royal Caribbean stores in the United States for sorting and distribution.
To reduce transportation costs, Royal Caribbean spoke with the Economic Development Board in Singapore, where agreement was reached to send the shrimps direct to Singapore — where Quantum of the Seas has extended its local season through February 2022 — from Vietnam.
Stephen says these measures help to counter perceptions that the cruise industry is a power-hungry contributor to the global emissions crisis.
She says the shipping industry globally accounts for 3% of global emissions. “And the cruise industry accounts for just 0.5% of that 3%.”
Royal Caribbean now has 18 of its ships back in operation and expects the full fleet to be sailing by the end of the year.
“In Singapore we’ve introduced 150,000 guests to cruising, and two thirds of those are new to cruising. And we’ve just begun ‘cruises to nowhere’ in Hong Kong.”
Covid-19, Stephen said, opened up a new audience in Asia, where all indications are that when international borders open, those who have sailed in Singapore will be keen to experience cruising in other parts of the world.