In order to respond to the growing number of cruise passengers in Europe, the increasing number of ports involved in the cruise business and new challenges ferry ports might be facing, the European Sea Ports Organisation wishes to strengthen the voice of cruise and ferry port authorities and clearly highlight the port’s perspective in relevant policy debates.
In that respect, ESPO has decided to work on the development of a code of practice for both cruise and ferry ports.
The aim of the ESPO code is to bring together practical experience of cruise and ferry ports in Europe and pro-actively set out recommendations for European ports accommodating passenger and cruise ships as regards policy applied and services available. At the same time, this exercise is an active contribution from the port sector to the Commission’s Blue Growth Initiative.
The work on the new ESPO guide for passenger and cruise ports was launched in Riga in May 2014 by ESPO’s passenger committee. This committee was set up in 2010 and gathers experts from ferry and cruise ports from across the European Union. The Committee works in close cooperation with different cruise port organisations, Cruise Europe, Cruise Norway and MedCruise. ESPO is also willing to engage in a constructive debate with the associations representing cruise lines or other stakeholders involved in the cruise or ferry sector.
“More and more European ports are getting involved in cruise business. At the same time ferry traffic remains an important market for different European ports. Freight and cruise/passenger ports must respond to completely different needs, and in many cases both functions have to be combined. I am pleased that within ESPO we can have a closer look at how port authorities could face the challenges of this important and fast growing sector, ” says Eeva Hietanen, Chairman of ESPO’s passenger committee.
“The experience with ESPO’s Green Guide and the Code of Practice on Societal Integration of Ports, shows that this bottom-up approach works and that it is one of the best ways to dive into an issue that is becoming more challenging for European ports, spread good examples and motivate others to do better. I am convinced that the work of ESPO’s passenger committee will lead to another very useful tool for European port authorities, ” adds ESPO Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.