Environmentally conscientious cruising

When terms are strewn about casually, I go looking for clarity in the form of non-self-serving definition. The term eco-cruising is one of those terms. It is especially popular in areas where the environment is considered especially sensitive or where people who actually live conscientious might be interested in cruising but do not wish to harm the environment in the process (e.g., Alaska, Galapagos, Antarctica, rain forests). Well, after a general search I came to find there is not an easily locatable objective definition of "green cruising" or "eco cruising". It seems even wikipedia is at a loss (oh my! Who'da thunk that possible!) Though I will admit it may be a matter of proper form, wiki is usually good about suggesting options - and there were none! Eco-cruising can be taken in many ways - low environmental impact cruising or cruising to ecologically sensitive areas - being among them. What say you?

(This discussion is continued in response section)

Tags: Environmentally conscientious cruising green cruising eco-cruising

12 Answers

I think it may be safe to say that there is no unified or agreed upon definition of green or eco cruising across the cruise industry.... but there are considerable resources placed on environmentally conscientious cruising.

There is, however, an environmental advocacy group which published quite an indictment on the overall cruising industry in June of this year. Friends of the Earth (FOE, for short) is quite clear as to their feelings on the matter. Check out their "findings" at http://www.foe.org/cruise-report-card. There are also links to past year's report cards toward the end of the page.

There is another side to the story (always)...

If you care to know what your preferred cruise line is doing to lessen its impact on the environment, here are a list of links for popular cruise lines information pages...

Princess - http://www.princess.com/aboutus/environmental-responsibility/

Carnival - https://www.carnival.com/legal/environmental-reports.aspx (Carnival's overall Corporate report)

Norwegian - https://www.ncl.com/about/environmental-commitment (referred to as ECO-Smart cruising)

Royal Caribbean - http://www.royalcaribbean.com/ourCompany/environment/rcAndEnvironment.do or http://www.royalcaribbean.com/ourCompany/environment/envinitiatives.do?flashoff=true

Celebrity - http://www.celebritycruises.com/about-celebrity/stewardship-report

I'm aware there are other cruise lines as well as other opinions on cruising's environmental impact so feel free to add to this list. This is a start.

Green this, eco that...confusing.

As technology improves, I feel that most all of the cruise lines try to be as "eco-friendly" as possible and probably do a better job at it than the other 80% of ocean going vessels (barges, container ships, etc.) After all, the ocean is their livelihood. That comes at a cost though and the same person saying "save the earth" says "don't raise the cost of my cruise". Look what happened to the RV Industry. Many retired people and vacationers were happily toodling across the land until they became a sitting duck for "environmentally conscious" groups to focus on what they were doing to the environment. To park an RV used to be peanuts compared to the ridiculous cost you see nowadays because the "eco-friendly" waste stations and hook-ups cost $$$.

Personally, I am more concerned about what millions of people everywhere are doing to the oceans in general (coral reefs, marine biology etc.) It's the "unknowing" damage people do when snorkeling or scuba diving such as stepping on the reefs, use of improper sunscreens, etc. that worries me. I say "unknowing" because they typically are not schooled by the excursion on the how-tos.

The whole topic will be a growth industry for someone, somewhere. Until such time that fuels be environmentally neutral and waste can be managed and recycled completely, there will be some contamination of the environment. I have to laugh at the famous Hollywood folks who come to see the Oil patch here in Northern Alberta and vilify us for producing oil. meanwhile they fly in private jets, stay in million dollar motor homes and live in Los Angeles, one of the greatest oil producing regions of the U.S.

Yes, we must at one some point be aware of the damage done and be aware as well of efforts being made to change that. This will take time, but it will happen.

Completely Agreed

Yep. The confusion is what prompted me to start digging deeper. I'm not sure it helped me much.

In most cases, terms such as "Green", "Eco" (specific to the thread), "All Natural", etc are nothing more than marketing gimmicks. The dictionary meaning does not apply, and there is no legal definition, thus the companies use these terms freely in hopes of confusing the customer enough to actually believe the marketing hype.

Kind of similar to the "what makes something organic?" question.

I know more and more cruises are trying "to go green" with reducing waste, new technology to save the resources... but are they being "eco" friendly as they keep pumping out mega ships?

I know I brought this up in a different thread about will they ever build smaller class ships, but when I looked at the lists of newly commissioned ships over the next 20 years, all the major lines have 4K plus passenger ships... Only some smaller luxury or non main stream lines are doing smaller ships.

It could be argued that a 4000 passenger liner is "greener" since it produces less waste than two 2000 passenger linersSad.

I can only think of a couple of truly green options:

A nuclear powered passenger ship (probably not too many people would want to sail on it) A solar powered steam engine(s) vessel (probably wouldn't work to well in cloudy weather).


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