Scylla announces major innovations making river cruising more sustainable
Scylla builds custom-made ships, meaning their clients – the tour operators – have a say about the design and the look of the ship that they charter. We asked company CTO Robert Reitsma to tell us more about this unique concept.
Our philosophy creates close bond between us and the TOs, always ensuring a successful end-result. They can, to a certain extent, decide on the image of their ship by affixing their logo on the exterior side of the ship and by determining the interior style and luxury level. That’s our secret to success. With a constant expansion of our fleet, you can say that we found the perfect recipe for a fantastic trip in a luxurious, yet informal, atmosphere on our river cruise ships.
BECAUSE OF MORE AND MORE LUXURY ON BOARD IT’S BECOMING INCREASINGLY APPEALING TO TRAVEL ON THE WATERS
How and why is sustainability important, and how do you address this?
Sustainable enterprising is a key concept for us. One example is that we have shifted to a much greener diesel. The ships are bunkered with GTL, a fuel produced by Shell, which is 25% cleaner than the cleanest diesel fuel, meaning nowadays our ships comply with nearly every legal norm for emission for 2020.
On our newest ship, the MS Robert Burns, we have installed an adaptive autopilot featuring a whole new level of intelligence, which refines the steering throughout the voyage in response to the ship’s behavior or weather conditions. It means that less steering motions or rudder actions are required for operation, thus resulting in lower less drag, minimal fuel consumption and reduced emissions.
Why is river cruising becoming more and more popular?
We are noticing that the public is becoming younger and they have a wider influence on their peers. They want to see more of Europe without the hassle of transportation and luggage and because of more and more luxury on board it’s becoming increasingly appealing to travel on the waters.
Our vessels function as a temporary home for the guests while in addition they can fully enjoy the rich culture of European cities during the daytime.
Please tell us a little more about your latest projects note.
In December, the MS Robert Burns was finished and made her first Christmas cruise. The ship is the 4th in a line of multiple sister vessels for a single tour operator.
For 2018, we have some renovations of older ships and 2 new ships for different tour operators being built. This means that at the end of 2018, we will have 30 ships in our fleet, which makes us the fastest growing fleet in the river cruise business. As a family company which started with only 1 ship more than 40 years ago, this makes us very proud.
Photo: Robert Retissa, CTO, Scylla; From 2016, MS Joy enhances the Scylla fleet with its 22 master suites.