The Nautical Institute’s London Branch hears about cruise ship challenges

The operational challenges of cruise ships and passenger liners were discussed in a seminar organised by The Nautical Institute’s London Branch on 5 June.

Darius Gozdzik MNI, a Staff Captain with Cunard, ran through his many responsibilities and the special considerations that apply on a ship carrying several thousand passengers. For example, the staff roll includes a dance captain, nail technician and ice carver.

Maintenance work must comply with ports’ increasingly strict environmental, health, safety and security requirements. Passenger security, safety and medical treatment come on top of standard operational considerations such as stability, mooring safety, surveys and working at height.

Cruise ship manager Richard Meikle AFNI highlighted the sector’s growth: 448 oceangoing cruise ships operated in 2016, with 80 more on order up to 2026. The USA is much the biggest market, with 11.28M cruise customers in 2015, followed by Germany with 1.81M and the UK with 1.61M. That dominance feeds through to regulation too: operational standards are less influenced by IMO than by the US Coast Guard and other American rule-makers.

A cruise has two elements: the ship and the port calls. Problems with either can be costly. Cruise itineraries are planned years ahead, but the risk environment changes rapidly, Meikle noted.

Calculating and mitigating risk are central to an insurer, and Stuart Edmonston MNI, Director of Loss Prevention at the UK P&I Club, took us through the critical issues. The most common causes of claims are slips, trips and falls, he said, but cruise curtailment can be very expensive for a ship operator, he explained.

If you are a member of the Institute, you can access the full presentation exclusively in the Members’ Area of the NI website.

(The Nautical Institute)

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