Credit: Havila Voyages

Havila Voyages UK boss Matthew Valentine: ‘Zero emissions is the ultimate goal’

Author: Lucy Abbott

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Havila Voyages UK country manager Matthew Valentine tells World of Cruising why the cruise line’s main focus is sustainability and what makes Havila different from its competitors.

Havila Voyages launched its first ship. Havila Capella, in December 2021, and recently announced that the second ship, Havila Castor, will start operating from Bergen on 10 May, a month later than originally planned.

Sustainability is high on the agenda, with Havila Capella featuring one of the world’s largest battery packs, according to the line, so the ship can sail emission free for up to four hours at a time.

The cruise line also offers a range of amazing excursions off-board - from husky sledding to snowmobiling under the Northern Lights.

So, why should you make you next cruise an eco-friendly one? Read on to find out...

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Q: What makes Havila Voyages different from your competitors?

A: We’re operating hybrid ships built to sail in the most sustainable way possible using LNG to reduce emissions, combined with battery power and various other new technologies to reduce energy consumption.

With the luxury of a new ship, we’ve been able to build it to modern tastes with large, spacious cabins.

We have a particular focus on having a good level of service with room service being available to all cabins and all meals served at the table with no buffets, and a high degree of choice.

A sumptuous Seaview Superior cabin acts as a perfect home-base for an exciting voyage. Credit: Havila Voyages

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Q: How are you building your reputation in the cruise market?

A: There is a trade focus, because we are only a small company and a lesser-known product in the destination.

We’ve started off with specialist tour operators. We are aware that the consumer is wanting to book a package and we’re in the process of applying for an ATOL licence.

We’re seeking to have relationships with the consortia, who have their own cruise departments and cruise specialist agents, who are all able to offer an ATOL-protected package to the customer.

Spacious dining-areas are the perfect places to tuck into some of the ship's delicious cuisine. Credit: Havila Voyages

Q: Why should guests want to sail an eco-friendly cruise?

A: It’s about understanding that sustainability is not just an environmental sense, but also in human sustainability of supporting jobs and communities in Norway.

Something that’s very important to the company’s founder is that we’re employing people on the coast, sourcing our food and furniture from local sources.

We’re doing our best to sail in the most efficient way in terms of our energy usage and we will continue to evolve the product. The company as a whole is looking at ultimately moving to zero emissions.

If this sounds like your dream holiday, then read our review of Havila Voyages as we set sail to the Arctic Circle here...

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About Lucy Abbott

Lucy is an experienced cruise journalist, who has sailed on a variety of ships, from expedition to river – with her favourite being expedition cruising.

Lucy reports on what it’s like to be a young cruiser and is interested in new sustainable ways to cruise as well as how cruising is becoming accessible for all.

She works together with Kaye Holland to keep the World of Cruising website up to date with all the latest cruise news.