SOURCE: Hornblower Cruises & Events

January 25, 2008 11:30 ET

Hornblower Leads Green Revolution With Biodiesel Use

Hornblower and General Petroleum Partnership Is the First in the San Diego Bay

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - January 25, 2008) - Hornblower Cruises & Events is now the first commercial business operating in the Port of San Diego to voluntarily switch to a domestically produced, environmentally friendly biodiesel fuel. This announcement comes after collaboration between Hornblower, New Leaf Biofuels and General Petroleum, the largest distributor of biofuels in Southern California.

Hornblower operates eight charter yachts, dining cruise and sightseeing vessels -- ranging in size from 80 to 230 feet -- from berthings on the Embarcadero on San Diego's downtown waterfront. Hornblower provides harbor cruises, whale watching, dinner and brunch cruises, as well as private charters in San Diego, as well as in five other ports in California.

"Hornblower has a strong commitment to keeping our oceans clean. Converting to biodiesel is an important step in our continuing effort to reduce our carbon footprint and educate our guests on what we are doing, and what they can do in their own lives," said Hornblower's Director of Marine Services in San Diego, Charles Assimakopoulos.

"Education is an important part of a Hornblower cruise," Assimakopoulos continues, "whether our guests are learning about the migratory patterns and habits of the whales that pass through our waters or admiring the spectacular San Diego skyline, we want them to think about how they can have an impact on the global environmental crisis. Our corporate environmental commitment, Respect Our Planet, guides and outlines the many ways we try to educate our guests about conservation."

Individuals who take cruises on a Hornblower yacht will be able to smell the difference from the non-toxic, non-carcinogenic biodiesel fuel. Vessels in the San Diego Bay were mandated to use Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel and thus improving the emissions produced by vessels by January 1, 2007. Hornblower has taken their emission reduction efforts a step further by voluntarily burning biodiesel with a blend of ultra low sulfur diesel.

"San Diego Bay is home to swimmers, whales, dolphins, fish, seabirds and lots of recreational, commercial and military boaters. By switching to biodiesel we hope to both reduce our impact here, and inspire others to make the same commitment," says Assimakopoulos.

New Leaf Biofuel is a San Diego biodiesel company focused on transforming the way companies fuel their vehicle fleets. New Leaf is focusing on providing biodiesel to the San Diego area. They are currently recruiting San Diego restaurants to participate in the waste vegetable oil collection program.

General Petroleum is the leading fuel and petroleum distributor for the marine, commercial and industrial industries in southern California. GP is a leader in exploration of advancements in the oil and gas distribution industry. From EPA-approved Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel and Diesel Emulsifiers to Bio Diesels, they ensure their customers have the most environmentally friendly fuels available today.

"I've been waiting for a visionary company like Hornblower Cruises & Events to take the first step and a leading role in San Diego's alternative fuel revolution," said Mark Olsen of General Petroleum.

The National Biodiesel Board describes this fuel as: "a renewable fuel that can run in any diesel engine in blends of 20 percent or lower, blended with diesel fuel. It can be made from any vegetable oil or animal fat through a chemical process that removes the glycerin. Biodiesel has added fuel refining capacity to the U.S. with more than 105 biodiesel plants operating currently. Biodiesel significantly cuts harmful environmental emissions, including carbon monoxide and life cycle carbon dioxide. Production tripled between 2005 and 2006, from 75 million gallons to about 250 million gallons."

HCE operates 32 vessels that sail from San Francisco, Berkeley, Marina del Rey, Long Beach, Newport Beach and San Diego. In addition to private charters and public cruises, the company hosts special celebration cruises on holidays, including Father's Day, Fourth of July and New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day and Easter. For more information regarding the Hornblower fleet, please call (619) 686-8700 or visit

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Rebecca Milkey
    Director of Marketing
    Hornblower Cruises & Events

    Mark Olsen
    General Petroleum Corp.