Scylla Cruising in the Fast Lane

Swiss luxury ship maker Scylla is back at ITB to communicate with tour operators about its superior long-haul river cruise liners – and to promote some sustainable cruising innovations.

Since 1974, Scylla has been launching high end cruise liners that sail the rivers and canals of Europe. From the first route down the Rhine, Scylla’s fleet of near 30 ships today navigate almost every major waterway in the Continent. We talk to company CTO Robert Reitsma about Scylla’s bespoke river cruising solutions.

We build custom-made ships. This means that our clients, the tour operators, have a say about the design and the look of the ship that they charter. They can decide on the image of their ship by affixing their logo on the exterior side, and by determining the interior style and luxury level. That’s our secret to success.

How and why is sustainability important in today’s industry?

Sustainable enterprising is a key concept for us. For example, we shifted to a much greener diesel fuel. The ships are powered with GTL, a fuel produced by Shell that’s 25% cleaner than the cleanest diesel fuel. This means that our ships comply with nearly every legal norm for emissions for 2020. On our newest ship, the MS Robert Burns, we placed an adaptive autopilot that has the ability to refine the steering throughout the voyage. It means that less steering motions or rudder actions are required for operation, resulting in lower levels of speed reduction, minimal fuel consumption and therefore emission reduction.

Please tell us a little more about your latest projects.

In December the MS Robert Burns was finished and made its first Christmas cruise. The ship is the fourth in a line of multiple sister ships for one tour operator. 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.

How important is ITB as a platform for you to reach your potential clients and why?

ITB Berlin is one of the most important fairs for us. Because we see the group and charter business increasing, 2018 will bring some new challenges, new designs and innovations. As we are operating in a big European market, ITB is an ideal spot to meet everyone. We want to share our story, our history, our plans for the future.

Hall 10.2 / Stand 114

Photo: Robert Reitsma CTO, Scylla