At a time when CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) has just announced that the Cruise Industry has committed to reducing the rate of carbon emissions across their fleet by a whopping 40 per cent by 2030. Claiming already to have made huge leaps in making ships more environmentally friendly.
It then seems contradictory that a Study by Researchers at John Hopkins University in Baltimore into the pollution levels on Cruise Ships, is claiming that the study which measured the levels on four large cruise ships between 2017 and 2018 found the concentration of particulate matter (PM) pollution was comparable to that measured in polluted cities, including Beijing and Santiago.
These harmful pollutants included metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), many of which have toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic properties.
The study was carried out on Carnival, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises ships, all of which are owned by Carnival Corporation and raises concerns for the long term safety of crew and passengers breathing in these pollutants.
Andy Harmer, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) UK and Ireland director, said: “Cruise ships are one of the more high-profile and easy-to-target flashpoints when air pollution and emissions are discussed. The cruise industry is only a small part of this issue, an issue which is facing the wider tourism and shipping sector; but we want to be a large part of the solution.
“Globally, the cruise industry has already invested $1billion in new technologies and cleaner fuels, to significantly reduce ships’ air emissions. Looking ahead, the industry has committed more than $8 billion to construction of highly advanced LNG-fueled cruise ships, which will have even lower emissions and higher energy efficiency.”
Roger Frizzell, senior vice president and chief communications officer of Carnival Coroporation, told Telegraph Travel: “We have installed Advanced Air Quality Systems on nearly 80 per cent of our global fleet in close coordination with the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency, an agency of the United States Federal Government] so these systems are environmentally friendly, in addition to rolling out new ships powered by LNG [liquefied natural gas], the cleanest burning fuel available, so their study is misleading and inaccurate.
“We are tested regularly by authorities around the world, such as the EPA, in order to be approved to sail in key ports.”
In the study, they took measurements of pollution from behind and in front of the smokestacks, on Carnival Liberty, Carnival Freedom, Emerald Princess and MS Amsterdam
Carnival Corporation said in a statement: “These so-called fly-by tests are completely ridiculous, inaccurate and in no way represent reality. We test the air quality of our ships and they meet or exceed every requirement.
I have had customers who have said to me I don’t want a cabin here or there because last time I was getting covered in soot from the funnels, so it does beg the question.
You think you are being healthy breathing in all that sea air but really what are you breathing in?
Are we being baffled with science, hoodwinked into believing the industry is cleaning up its act or is it all just nonsense?
Whichever is true, with the number of new ships on order by the various cruise lines it does pose a question as to whether this is really good for the planet?
Have you had any issues onboard any ships? If so, I would love to hear from you.