The Friends of the Earth Environmental Report Card is out on the Cruise Ship industry. They rate the different cruise ship lines for categories such as sewage treatment, air pollution and water quality compliance. Holland America received the best overall grade (yet they only earned a B). Royal Caribbean and Disney brought up the rear of the pack, both earning F grades!
The report gives details and a summary of 10 major cruise lines and provides a breakdown and an individual grade for each ship operating, their destinations, and information on any air pollution violations that have been cited for the ship in the past year. Holland America has done the best job so far in upgrading the sewage treatment on all of their ships however they lost marks because only 50% of their ships are up to proper air pollution standards. This is a huge problem with these ships that burn dirty diesel fuel when they are in port. An average cruise ship can generate emissions equivalent to 12,000 automobiles. To meet the air pollution standards, the ships need to have shore plug-in technology so they are not polluting the air in port. Carnival Cruise Lines earned a D- grade as only one of their ships has an upgraded sewage treatment system and none of their ships meet proper air pollution standards. Royal Caribbean has installed upgraded sewage treatment standards on only 43% of their ships and none of their ships meet air pollution standards. Even their new giant Oasis of the Seas with 7,300 passenger capacity, set to sail later this year, is not up to the air pollution standards.
There are seven ships operating in the Caribbean that earned an A grade. We can safely say then, that these are the seven cleanest ships offering Caribbean cruises:
Holland America's ships Amsterdam, Oosterdam and Zuiderdam
Princess Cruises ships Coral Princess, Golden Princess and Sea Princess
Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Star.
See the full Environmental Report Card report:
Cruise Ship Environmental Report Card | Friends of the Earth
See Arthur Frommer's article "Another Fake Port Rises for Cruise Ship Passengers.
See related post "Gridlock Islands Gasping for Air" for more on the cruise ship pollution problem in the Caribbean.
See KAHEA The Hawaii-Environmental Alliance for more on the cruise ship pollution in the Hawaiian Islands.