Latest Safety Measures Reflect Ongoing Commitment to Continuous Improvement
On behalf of the global cruise industry, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council (ECC) today announced that the cruise industry has adopted two new safety policies. These policies, which address issues related to the recording of passenger nationality and the common elements of musters and emergency instructions, result from the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review launched in January 2012.
The Nationality of Passengers policy was developed in response to the request of governments at the May meeting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee meeting. This policy prescribes that the nationality of each passenger onboard is to be recorded and made readily available to search and rescue personnel as appropriate. Under the Common Elements of Musters and Emergency Instructions policy, member cruise lines have specified 12 common elements that will be communicated to passengers in musters and emergency instructions. Among those common elements are a description of key safety systems and features and an explanation of emergency routing systems and recognizing emergency exits. Both policies exceed current international regulatory requirements.
“Our industry continues to actively identify a range of measures that will improve the safety of passengers and crew, which is the top priority of the cruise industry,” said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA. “Ongoing innovation in safety has been a hallmark of our industry for decades and we are fully committed to continuous improvement in shipboard operations and safety. We are taking a holistic look at safety as has been evidenced by the breadth and scope of the numerous policies that have been developed and adopted as part of the Review since its launch earlier this year.”
“These new safety policies are representative of the industry’s commitment to raising standards across the global fleet and of our willingness to listen and act on good ideas brought forward by other interested stakeholders,” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Chairman of ECC. “Establishing common elements of a muster policy will provide our guests with the confidence that they are receiving the same key safety messages no matter which ship they cruise. Providing additional information on passengers’ nationality is a direct and immediate response to a good idea and, as with our other voluntary commitment, is applicable with immediate effect.”
The Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review receives advice and input from a panel of outside maritime and safety experts. These individuals are evaluating suggested policy improvements as part of the cruise industry’s continuous efforts to review and improve safety measures by developing comprehensive best practices for industry-wide implementation and, ultimately, formal submission to the International Maritime Organization, as appropriate. Each of these policies will be reported to the IMO for consideration at its next session in November.
A full version of the Nationality of Passengers policy can be accessed at http://www.cruising.org/regulatory/clia-policy-recording-nationality-passengers. The Common Elements of Musters and Emergency Instructions policy is available at http://www.cruising.org/regulatory/clia-policy-common-elements-musters-and-emergency-instructions. All CLIA policies can be viewed at http://cruising.org/regulatory/cruise-industry-policies.
CLIA announced the launch of the Review on January 27, 2012. As part of the Review, in February, the global cruise industry instituted a new policy requiring mandatory emergency muster drills for embarking passengers prior to departure from port. In March, the industry put forth recommendations to the IMO supporting enhanced reporting requirements to improve the consistency and transparency of marine casualty data. In April, it announced three policies addressing issues related to passage planning, personnel access to the bridge and lifejackets. Additional best practices and policies developed through the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review will be announced and implemented on an ongoing basis.
The nonprofit Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry organization. CLIA represents the interests of 26 member lines and participates in the regulatory and policy development process while supporting measures that foster a safe, secure and healthy cruise ship environment. CLIA is also engaged in travel agent training, research, and marketing communications to promote the value and desirability of cruise vacations with thousands of travel agency and travel agent members across North America. For more information about CLIA, the cruise industry, and CLIA-member lines and travel agencies, visit www.cruising.org. CLIA can also be followed on the Cruise Lines International Association’s Facebook and Twitter fan pages.
About the European Cruise Council
The European Cruise Council (ECC) represents the leading cruise companies operating in Europe and has 30 cruise members and 34 associate members. The ECC promotes the interests of cruise ship operators within Europe, liaising closely with the EU Institutions: the Commission, the Parliament, the Council of Ministers and their Permanent Representatives as well as with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The ECC also looks to protect the interests of its Members through close liaison with other European bodies such as the European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA), the European Sea Ports Association (ESPO) and the European Travel Agents & Tour Operators Association (ECTAA).The ECC also promotes cruising to a wider public audience to encourage expansion of the European cruise market and works closely with a number of regional bodies such as Cruise Baltic, Cruise Europe, Cruise Norway and MedCruise. The European cruise industry continues to increase its share of the global cruise market with 25.2 million passengers visiting a European port in 2010; 5.2 million passengers joined their cruise in Europe in the same year with the industry generating euro 35.2 billion of goods and services and providing almost 300,000 jobs. In 2010 there were 198 cruise ships operating in Europe ranging in size from 3,600 passengers to less than 100. For more information please visit www.europeancruisecouncil.com