From alternative power sources to new wastewater treatment technologies
Photo by iSAW Company on Unsplash
Listen to this and other articles from The SustainabilityX® Magazine on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.
According to The World Tourism organization, cruises are among the fastest-growing sectors of the global travel industry. The cruise industry revenue has grown to over 37 billion U.S dollars over the past decade. This is due to the innovative naval designs, exotic destinations around the globe, and customized cruise experiences.
Cruise ships are also known to be environmentally destructive for they emit air pollutants and generate a number of waste streams including sewage, oily bilge water, and solid waste that are dumped into the marine environment. However, a number of Cruise lines have started taking strides to become more eco-friendly by using alternative power sources, incorporating new waste material removal methods, and implementing new technologies to treat wastewater. Here are 4 cruise lines that are transforming into sustainable eco-ships.
1. The Disney Cruise
Disney cruise line ranks top of the best ocean-friendly eco cruises, for their unique solutions to cut emissions and waste on board. Disney cruises have been popular for their recycle and reuse policies since 2014. In fact, 100 percent of their used cooking oil is always offloaded and recycled each week. The Disney cruise also goes far and beyond basic eco-friendly options, with total safety regulations to prevent the risks of drowning and other water-risks. Not to mention, they have cruise automated air-conditioning systems in several areas of the ships to optimize energy efficiency.
HAVE YOU READ?
Sustainability Is The Largest (And Only) Opportunity Of Our Times
2. The Holland America Cruise
This cruise line is well recognized by several media outlets, port administrators, and even the U.S Coast Guard for its environmental practices. Each of their ships has a black water treatment system that filters greywater before leaving the ship. The Holland America Line also covers the basic eco-friendly programs like towel reuse, low-flow shower faucets, and tinted cabin windows to minimize the use of air conditioning. Environmental officers are also stationed on every ship to provide environmental training to all crew and to oversee all shipboard compliance with environmental requirements.
3. The Crystal Cruise
This cruise line is famous for its 216 solar panels that power the elevators and 7,000 LED lights, saving 50% of energy demand. Crystal cruises recycle their aluminum and tin onboard. They also did some small changes that have really made a big difference in the American ecosystem, they replaced all plastic materials like cups with alternatives paper cups and plastic bags were replaced with washable laundry bags. The ship installed heat transfer windows that help in cutting down cooling needs and allow more natural light that also cuts down electricity needs. The Crystal cruise even has a live grass lawn on the upper deck that provides some natural cooling for the ship.
4. The Royal Caribbean Cruise
Royal Caribbean cruise line has also played a major role in turning their ships around to environmental performance. The ships have environmental officers that train and educate staff and guests on all environmental sustainability programs. All plastic water bottles and utensils were banned on every ship and replaced with biodegradable reusable options. On water treatment, they installed a purification system that treats wastewater before it leaves the ship. On energy and fuel-saving, Royal Caribbean shuts one of its engines during the winter season, to reduce unnecessary energy use. In addition to the basic changes, the cruise uniquely decided on a new hull shape to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency.
These are just a few best cruises that are really trying hard to be eco-friendly. However, there are still more cruise lines lagging behind on improving their environmental performance. The best action that can be done is strict policies should be taken against cruises that violate the policies. Meanwhile, people should also take part in choosing cruise lines with great green initiatives.