Last updated: 02:00 PM ET, Tue August 16 2016

How Do Cruise Ships Affect the Environment?

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Royal Caribbean International | Janeen Christoff | August 16, 2016

How Do Cruise Ships Affect the Environment?

PHOTO: Anthem of the Seas. (Photo courtesy Royal Caribbean) 

Portland, Maine, is getting ready to welcome its largest cruise ship ever when Anthem of the Seas calls there this month, and the environmentally conscious city wanted to know what the impact of such a visit would have. The Portland Press Herald looked into its sustainability and found that despite its large size, the newer the ship, the more environmentally friendly it was. 

“You can operate a ship as effectively for a larger number of people with a relatively smaller capital expenditure and a less than proportional increase in cruise size,” Bud Darr, senior vice president, Technical and Regulatory Affairs, with Cruise Lines International Association told the publication.

Darr detailed some of the new energy-efficient bells and whistles of the ship. 

The industry expects to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2025, aided by improvements on new and as-yet unfinished ships. LED lighting has been a huge help, as well as improved heating and cooling systems, Darr noted to the Portland Press Herald.

Waste management has also been much improved and much of it doesn’t even reach the shore. It is incinerated onboard. What does reach the shore is compacted trash and much of it is recycled. 

READ MORE: What’s in a Name: Unique and Overused Cruise Ship Titles  

Darr said it is “typical to see a 60 percent recycling rate per person, which is better than recycling rates onshore.”

How does the industry manage to do this and what will the future hold when it comes to the environmental impact of cruising? Read on here for more information.


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Journey on an Avalon River Cruise

Cruise Lines & Cruise Ships