Olaf Groeger: Columbia Cruise Services (CCS) is a Hamburg based company that was founded in 2014, and is affiliated to Columbia Shipmanagement, which merged with Marlow Navigation to form Columbia Marlow in 2017. Its Cypriot predecessor, the Columbia Cruise Group, was in the maritime leisure industry for 30 years.
CCS is able to meet the highest industry standards, providing best-practice services. Our biggest assets to achieve this are our employees, as proved by having an on-board retention rate of 89%. Our location in Hamburg ensures fast and personal access to our clients, their cruise vessels, the industry and suppliers. Dedicated to cruise vessel management in expedition, luxury and classical cruising, CCS is currently operating nine cruise vessels for three clients worldwide. Three more additions to the fleet were announced for 2018 and 2019 in managing Marella Cruises' (formerly Thomson Cruises) six-ship fleet, the Marella Explorer and Explorer 2. CCS is offering the full range of ship management services, including technical management, crewing and hospitality services. The fleet covers a capacity of 155-2,200 passengers.
Alongside our core business for technical and crew management, we offer operations, hotel and hospitality services. Our aim is always to exceed the client's needs. We offer the full range of operational services, with a dedicated fleet or vessel team being assigned to meet customised expectations. Tailor-made manuals also enable modular set-ups, which can be adjusted to meet the client's needs.
CCS oversees the full project management life cycle, from the initiation phase, through to planning, execution and the closing phase. If desired, CCS can offer turnkey solutions.
Green shipping is becoming more and more important; as ship managers, we are working with our clients to use green energy and reduce pollution. Cold ironing, using LED lights and saving water are just some of the tools we use to increase our green footprint in the cruise industry. The continuous improvement of environmentally friendly operations is one of our key focuses. Waste separation, water-saving practices and using environmental seals is part of day-to-day life on board our vessels.
Additionally, CCS's services are certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 50001 for energy management and 14001 for environmental management, providing further evidence that CCS is complying with the latest regulations. This work also helps advance our safety and sustainability strategy. A recent example saw us, together with the shipowners, get the world's first Polar Code-compliant cruise vessel certified.
For several reasons: firstly, our specialisations, because CCS is dedicated to the cruise industry, and experienced branch experts form part of our team. Our portfolio is also strong and CCS offers the full range of services to customers. We are flexible, too. Furthermore, we are fully transparent. Clients can access our live figures anytime and check our client portal, which lets them see classification and maintenance statuses, crewing details, as well as budgets and our financial status. Our high-quality standards are similarly impressive. We are certified for ISO 9001, 14001, 50001 and Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series 18001.
CCS has its roots in the technical management of cruise vessels, which is, and will remain, our core business. Alongside this, we are looking forward to strengthening our presence in all our operational service sectors