Pollution from cruise ships is a growing problem, according to environmental group Oceana. They produce a large amount of pollution every day from sewage, garbage and solid waste, toxic chemicals and oily bilge water.
According to Oceana, the average cruise ship produces the following pollution daily:
- 25,000 gallons of sewage from toilets
- 143,000 gallons of sewage from sinks, galleys and showers
- Seven tons of garbage and solid waste
- 15 gallons of toxic chemicals
- 7,000 gallons of oily bilge water
Several cruise lines have been making efforts to clean up their acts, reports Seattle International Travel Examiner. The newspaper cites several examples — including Princess Cruises, Holland America, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Norwegian Cruise Line — where cruise lines have implemented environmental measures.
As examples, both Princess Cruises and Holland America have ships that plug into onshore hydroelectric power while in port, which reduces the air pollution produced by idling ships. Holland America has also installed a special seawater-scrubbing emissions system to reduce air pollution, and uses a hybrid power system in its newer ships.
Smaller cruise lines, such as Lindblad Expeditions and Adventure Smith Explorations, have also implemented environmental measures, which include offsetting their carbon footprint, purchasing seafood from sustainable sources, and adopting new sustainable technologies, according to the Seattle International Travel Examiner.
But not all cruise lines are in agreement. Earlier this year, the Alaska cruise industry called for the abolishment of a strict water-pollution rule approved by voters in 2006 because the rule is detrimental to tourism.
The report, Getting there Greener, compares the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from driving, flying, and traveling by train or bus. The report shows that three key factors determine the environmental impact of your travel — type of vehicle, distance and number of people traveling.