Cruise Along the Blue While Preserving the Green
Since cruising is a part of many of our vacations packages, we seek to find travel partners who share our same passion for preserving the environment. In that endeavor, we are proud to report that many of our cruise partners are adopting innovative and environmentally sound policies and technologies which make traveling with them a healthful experience for the mind, the body and the earth.
Norwegian Cruise Lines:
Because environmental preservation is a among Norwegian Cruise Line’s highest priorities, NCL has implemented “environmental policies and technologies onboard its ships that are among the most stringent in the industry and exceed existing laws and international conventions.” Included in these initiatives is a designated onboard environmental officer tasked with overseeing vessel compliance with NCL environmental policy and offering appropriate training for onboard staff individual to each job and responsibility. NCL has also pioneered the recycling of used oil, including offloading used cooking oil at shoreside installations for use as bio-fuel. All ships are equipped with technologically advanced water treatment systems which bring black and grey water to near drinking standards, while low sulfur fuels are utilized in the world’s more environmentally sensitive areas to reduce harmful air emissions. To ensure compliance with company policies, including US and international regulations, a team of practiced safety and environmental experts audit NCL ships every single year. As an added contribution, approximately 150,000 children ages 17 and under have participated in educational sessions on NCL’s ships about worldwide environmental protection, thereby providing future generations with inspiration and knowledge about how to continue these efforts throughout their own lives.
MSC Cruise’s sentiments on environmental preservation are clear: “ensuring our vessels are as environmentally friendly as possible ensures that passengers on an MSC cruise will be able to enjoy the lagoons of Venice, the clear seas of the Caribbean or the crystalline fjords of Northern Europe – without worrying about the effects of their holiday on the environment – preserving these beautiful locations for future visitors.” With goals to reduce the amount of waste introduced, MSC has made large strides in preserving the environment. A rigorous Advance Water Treatment (AWT) system is in place in the MSC fleet, recycling and treating waste water according to the highest legal and ecological standards. In cabins as well as public areas, an Energy Saving System is installed to monitor electricity usage, powering down unused systems to reduce fuel consumption and gas emissions. MSC also utilizes on-shore environmental coordinators who are responsible for watching over all fleet-wide environmental operations. On newer ships in the MSC fleet, including the Poesia, the hulls have been coated with Intersleek 900 paint, helping to reduce the usage of fuel and subsequent emissions by streamlining the drag against the water.
TUI has identified three areas of environmental protection in which they aim to have an impact: “The first area develops specific measures in order, for instance, to save energy, water and emissions, preserve biodiversity and reduce waste. The second area focuses on measuring the results – by our own experts but also external experts. The third area is completely different: its aim is to raise the awareness of partners along the value chain but also customers for environmental protection.” To achieve these goals, TUI has effectively integrated climate protection into their business processes. Their Environmental Management/Sustainable Development department works closely with those responsible in companies and units and their climate protection commitment has been preserved in the TUI AG group’s Code of Conduct. TUI utilizes the expertise of government departments, NGOs, academics and researchers to build and better their practices. In 2011, TUI achieved ninth place in the German Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index, while TUI AG was also a Sector Leader in the “Consumer” sector. On all Arctic and Antartic voyages, TUI’s ships use diesel instead of heavy oil in effort to protect the sensitive polar waters. Better route planning and high load factors have also led to notable decreases in carbon emissions. In 2014, TUI Cruises will expand to include state-of-the-art environmental protection technologies on a new build, while even their current ships have introduced advanced waste management systems and are focused on more and more digital media in effort to reduce paper waste.
Royal Caribbean/Celebrity Cruises:
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. aims to maintain acute focus on their environmental impact and the ways they can better their position. In their own words: “Because we know that clean oceans are good for the environment, good for our guests and good for our business, we strive to achieve the highest possible standards of environmental and community stewardship. By following strict company policies and practices and using innovative technologies, we conduct our business Above and Beyond Compliance (what we call "ABC") with existing laws and regulations.” Royal Caribbean has also developed the “Save the Waves” program, which started out with objectives of improving waste management practices and has transformed into a “company-wide philosophy of social responsibility, environmental protection and good corporate citizenship that guides every facet of our business operations.” The cruise line is always researching and testing new energy sources and technologies to improve reduce their environmental impact, with their 2010 efforts resulting in a 4.7% reduction in fuel consumption per passenger cruise day. In the same year Royal Caribbean also reduced GHG emissions by 5.5% and they are committed to reducing GHG emissions overall by one-third by 2015 (this goal has a 2005 baseline). Their current waste-management plan is to equip every ship in the fleet with an Advanced Wastewater Purification (AWP) System that produces water which is purer than international regulations even require.