Cannes set to ban highly polluting cruise ships from port

The initiative, taken by the mayor, aims to reduce marine and air pollution to encourage environmental protection.

"It's not about being against cruise ships. It's about being against pollution," Cannes Mayor David Lisnard said. "I said that we will no longer accept tour buses and cruise ship passengers on the ground coming from polluting cruise ships," he added.

In July, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which represents 40 percent of Cannes' maritime traffic, along with local officials signed a Cruise Charter agreement recognising cruise line companies that adhere to the restrictions and take steps to implement environmentally-friendly practices.

Silversea Cruises CEO Robert Martinoli said that is was in the interest of cruise ship lines to respect the regulations that help to reduce pollution so as to preserve the very places they take their passengers to.

"Regulations have been improved and have been coming with the introduction of new technologies to make the engine more efficient and reduce the emissions," he said.

"At the end of the summer, we will go into our maintenance cycle, so the ship will be out of service for two or three weeks, and we will implement the changes to the engines to make them comply with the latest environmental regulation," Martinoli added.

The engine of Silversea Cruises' "Silver Shadow" liner was built 20 years ago and uses fuel with a sulphur content of 0.74 parts per million, according to Martinoli and a fuel invoice seen by Reuters.

In 2015, a national French law fixed the maximal sulphur concentration in maritime fuels to 3.5 percent and required vessels to use marine diesel if they plan to dock at port for more than two hours.

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