A regional approach
For SERVIS, each port of call service and facility project is unique. It meets the needs of regional touristic, environmental, and economic development projects. Such challenges require to be addressed on several scales: At dock level, at regional level, at local level, while taking into account environmental constraints.
SERVIS thus conducts its projects in interaction with local authorities, municipalities, inter-municipalities, as well as tourist offices, while maintaining a constant dialogue with representatives and technicians. SERVIS immerses itself into the challenges inherent for each site and responds from a point of in-depth understanding of the needs of visiting cruise ships.
A dock development project has to be anchored within its natural environment.
An approach based on sustainable development and the reduction of noxious emissions
One of SERVIS’ priorities is to offer environmental-friendly facilities integrated into the natural and urban landscape.
SERVIS has quickly understood that one of the major issues facing river tourism is the river liners’ emission of pollutants and CO2.
This quest for energy efficiency is being promoted by the Voies Navigables de France (VNF - French institution for inland waterways). The ministère de l’Environnement (French Ministry of the Environment, now: Ministère de l’Ecologie, Ministry of Ecology) lists VNF-implemented activities for the river passenger transport, amongst others " the exemplarity of vessels regarding their environmental-friendliness (better waste management, reduction of air pollutant emissions - including in the framework of the implementation of the EMNR regulation - non-road mobile machinery) and ports (waste management, water saving and energy)”.
In France, stops hosting river passenger ships are generally poorly equipped regarding electricity supply infrastructure: Among the sixty sites on the Rhone-Saone and Seine basin handling touristic traffic, only five of them are equipped with "Powerlock” charging stations to ensure the ships’ electricity supply. For example, the metropolises of Rouen, Lyon and Avignon are still lacking adequate infrastructure (except during the hibernation period, when leasing transformers and a reduced electricity demand may satisfy the market).
A distinctive feature of river passenger ships is that they spend only short periods of time in navigation compared to the time spent at the dock. During peak season, cruise ships spend an average of 2/3 of their time docked within urban areas. Over a full year, including the hibernation period, about ¾ of their time is being spend at the dock..
Connecting cruise ships to electricity supply stations during their stopovers would therefore reduce the amount of pollutant emissions significantly.
Open access approach
To ensure optimal use of river facilities and in order to increase the attractiveness of stopovers, SERVIS offers comprehensive solutions meeting any demand. The installations managed by SERVIS are open to all users.
Based on the values of Voies Navigables de France (the French waterway management), the reservation system is a unique booking tool which is open to all operators without distinction. It’s a simple principle: The ship owners submit their request via the tool before the start of the tourist season; spaces are then allocated fairly to all operators in the event of conflicts of use. This principle has been implemented and tested on the Rhone-Saone and Seine rivers. There is a high degree of satisfaction regarding transparency and fairness of the system, as evidenced by an ARAFER publication on dock access. This model also avoids the privatization of the docks by a single river ship company.
Services on board
The charging station and water supply pumps are open to any user who has registered with SERVIS. SERVIS offers a user-friendly, clear and transparent interface. Rates are displayed clearly, and they are the same for all users. Technical solutions always ensure compatibility with the existing installations on board. By fostering an ongoing dialogue with technical associates (ship owners, shipyards), SERVIS is capable of offering solutions within the technical and regulatory framework that suit the entire inland waterway fleet.
SERVIS offers facilities accessible to anyone operating on the rivers.