9 September 2010

Towards a greener Cruise industry

Reducing your holiday carbon footprint by eco cruising is now being considered essential by more and more people. If cruising is the type of holiday you prefer, then there are ways and means of ensuring that your chosen company is doing its utmost to be green.

In one week the cruise industry creates millions of tons of wastewater, thousands of tons of sewage and some older vessels will have contaminated huge amounts of sea water from the oil seeping from their engines. Until fairly recently it was common practice for cruise liners to dump a large amount of untreated waste into the oceans, causing major destruction on the ecosystems and marine life.

The cruise companies have made tremendous strides forward in the past five years and have cut their waste in half. For example some are employing new gas turbines that drastically reduce nitrogen and sulphur emissions and others have installed seawater scrubbers to remove smokestack pollutants.

Many people now take smaller cruise ships  or even the sailing cruise lines as both are far smaller than the modern leviathans that sail the seas. If they don't do this then actively look for companies that are using the modern advances  from screw propulsion  technology to onboatd waste storing and recycling.
These advances however are not cheap and it’s going to get even more expensive as all vessels travelling within 200 nautical miles of the American and Canadian coasts will have to cut their fuel sulphur content by 98 percent. The rules approved by the International Maritime Organization will be phased in from 2012, and new ships will have to use advanced pollution-control technology beginning in 2016. The problem is that this fuel is twice as expensive so the knock on effects for the cruise industry are going to be huge.

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