Environmental Sustainability in the Cruise Industry
Keywords:climate change, air pollution, plastics, green cruising
Cruise shipping is currently one of the fastest growing segments in the tourism sector and creates a significant environmental impact. The aims of this study are a) to investigate what are the main environmental issues faced by the cruise ships and which measures are taken or foreseen to address the problems, b) to explore the passengers’ attitudes towards environmental protection and the companies’ drivers to adopt pro-environmental measures. Data were collected by reviewing the sustainability reports of the main cruise companies and by interviewing three environmental officers that work at the industry. The results showed that there is a trend in employing LNG to address climate change and air pollution. The energy efficiency is further improved with measures such as shore-side electricity, gas-turbines, waste-heat recovery, air lubrication etc. A substantial percentage of ships is equipped with EGCS to address SO2 and PM emissions. Campaigns to reduce single use plastics and saving water and the use of Advanced Wastewater System are also measures to reduce the environmental footprint of cruise shipping. The passengers are informed about the rules and regulations and generally comply with them. According to EO’s opinion, they probably would not pay more for a cruise to support a green program. Also, the companies adopt pro-environmental measures to fully comply with regulations but also to protect the local environment (i.e. flora, fauna), the health of the locals and the local economy.
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