The Port of Funchal in Madeira is currently hosting two cruise ships, the ‘Iona’ and the ‘Island Sky’, with a total of 5,411 passengers and 1,735 crew members. The ‘Iona’, operated by P&O, is the first British cruise ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). It arrived from Southampton with 5,319 passengers and 1,658 crew members and will stay in Madeira for 11 hours before heading to Tenerife. The ‘Island Sky’ arrived from Porto Santo with 92 passengers and 77 crew members and will spend the night in Madeira before departing for La Palma, Canary Islands, tomorrow.
The arrival of the ‘Iona’ marks an important milestone in the cruise industry as it is the first British ship to run on LNG, a cleaner and more environmentally friendly fuel compared to traditional marine fuels. Madeira is a popular destination for cruise ships, and the Port of Funchal is well-equipped to handle large vessels like the ‘Iona’ and the ‘Island Sky’. The presence of these ships brings economic benefits to the region, as passengers and crew members contribute to the local economy through tourism spending.
The ‘Iona’ and the ‘Island Sky’ highlight the ongoing efforts in the cruise industry to adopt more sustainable practices. The use of LNG as a fuel source reduces emissions and helps to minimize the environmental impact of cruise ships. As the demand for greener travel options increases, it is likely that more cruise ships will transition to LNG or other alternative fuels in the future. The Port of Funchal’s ability to accommodate these ships demonstrates its commitment to supporting sustainable tourism and attracting environmentally conscious travelers.