PHOTO: The Caribbean Princess cruise ship. (photo via Flickr/Prayitno Photography)
Princess Cruises was officially sentenced Wednesday by the United States Department of Justice and will pay a $40 million fine for deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up.
According to the Miami Herald, the fine is the largest ever imposed for crimes involving vessel pollution. Princess was originally charged in December 2016 with seven felony charges related to illegally dumping oily water overboard and falsifying records.
MORE Cruise Line & Cruise Ship
As for the money collected from the fine, around $10 million will be used on community-service programs intended to help the maritime environment. Another $1 million will be awarded to the British whistleblower who first reported the illegal activity.
When the charges were initially announced last year, Princess agreed to plead guilty. Court documents show supervising engineers ordered workers to bypass a filtration system while the ship’s chief engineer and senior first engineer falsified records to cover up the crime.
READ MORE: Princess Pleads Guilty, Fined Record $40 Million for Deliberate Pollution
In a statement sent to TravelPulse in December, Princess officials “accepted responsibility” for the incident and said that the actions taken by employees “not only broke our company policies, it violated environmental law.”
“We are extremely disappointed about the inexcusable actions of our employees,” the statement continued. “This settlement clearly shows that we fell short on our commitment to the environment, and for this we are very sorry and we take full responsibility.”