August 24, 2019

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Cruise Ship Report Card Gives Failing Grades on Environmental Issues

Cruise Ship Report Card Gives Failing Grades

In recent years, cruise ships have been in the news for all sorts of problems including food poisoning and other rapidly spreading illness while on the high seas, falls overboard, passengers disappearing, and guests suffering sexual assaults. Still, however, cruises are a very popular vacation choice for many families, singles, and newlywed couples. 

The allure of a Caribbean, Alaskan, or Mediterranean cruise is easy to see: Beautiful weather, breathtaking scenery for miles, rest and relaxation for days; around-the-clock entertainment, food that would make anyone’s palate sing, exotic cocktails brought to you whenever and wherever you like, and interesting people everywhere you turn setting their sights on exploring new destinations and creating once-in-a-lifetime memories. But all of that comes with a price, it seems, and many cruise lines are being given failing grades in their treatment of the very environment they claim to show to their guests.

Failing Grades on Environmental Friendliness

The online publication, Friends of the Earth, has posted its “Cruise Ship Report Card,” and the scores for many of the most popular cruise lines is nothing to write home about. Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card compares the environmental footprint of 16 major cruise lines and 185 cruise ships and can be read in its entirety here. For our purposes today, we will hit the highlights of how the top cruise lines in the world fared when being judged on treatment of the environment.

Who was the frontrunner in the “epic fail” department? “The 2019 Cruise Ship Report Card hands out F’s to the biggest cruise company in the world — Carnival Corp. — for its seven subsidiary cruise lines’ illegal environmental pollution over the past two plus years.”

The Cruise Ship Report Card examines four main areas:

  • Sewage Treatment: This examines whether a cruise line has installed the most advanced sewage and wastewater treatment systems available instead of dumping minimally treated sewage directly into the water.
  • Air Pollution Reduction: This measures whether a cruise line has retrofitted its ships to “plug in” to available shore side electrical grids instead of running polluting engines when docked.
  • Water Quality Compliance: This examines to what degree cruise ships violated 2010-2018 water pollution standards designed to better protect the coasts
  • Transparency: The grade for transparency indicates how willing the cruise line was willing to provide information regarding its environmental practices

A fifth area of examination for this report card is “Criminal Violations,” but that’s another report for another time.

The following cruise lines received a failing grade in the “Transparency” category:

  • Princess
  • Norwegian
  • Holland America
  • Seabourn
  • Celebrity
  • Cunard
  • Regent Seven Seas
  • Royal Carribbean
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Silversea
  • Oceania
  • MSC Cruises
  • P&O Cruises
  • Costa
  • Crystal

The following cruise lines received a D or F grade in the category of “Air Pollution Reduction”:

  • Disney
  • Norwegian
  • Holland America
  • Seabourn
  • Celebrity
  • Cunard
  • Regent Seven Seas
  • Royal Carribbean
  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Silversea
  • Oceania
  • MSC Cruises
  • P&O Cruises
  • Costa
  • Crystal

The following cruise lines received a D or F grade in the category of “Sewage Treatment”:

  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Silversea
  • P&O Cruises
  • Costa
  • Crystal

When choosing a cruise line for your next adventure on the high seas, it’s important to know the values of the cruise line company you choose and whether or not it provides a safe and healthy experience for passengers at sea.

About Lynn Fugaro

Lynn has been writing web content since 2007 after a lengthy career as a middle school English teacher and administrator. Writing web content seemed a natural progression following a career teaching adolescents about the beauty and the power of the written word, and she quickly got hooked on the challenge of writing SEO- and reader-friendly content that could be found on Page 1 of Google and other search engines.

Having written content for physicians and attorneys for the first few years of her writing career, Lynn has most recently produced original, informative, entertaining, and relevant content for the entertainment industry, the automotive industry, senior communities, pet rescues and numerous other businesses hoping to increase website traffic and page views for all clients looking for informative, vibrant content.