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 so these systems are environmentally friendly, in addition to rolling out new ships powered by LNG , 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.


3 Comments on “CRUISE POLLUTION!

  1. You only seem to hear about pollution from cruise ships. What about the thousands of other large ships that move goods and oil around the globe. I would guess that some of these are worse producers and I guarantee that those that complain have fuel in their car or used busses, trains or taxis that has come from one of these ships.

  2. Yes large ships must create pollution just like any other form of travel, although much less than air. However, when we are on a ship for several days or weeks we are not using our cars, heating, lighting etc. We are, therefore, not creating any pollution at home. So surely this helps to negate the pollution from the ship.

  3. This is a topic that interests me greatly as a regular cruiser and I remember the time when I too was spotted with carbon deposits on deck but this was many years ago and on a small vessel. Today the new vessels are more modern and sophisticated with advanced technology to minimise emissions and the spoiling of the environment. This works as long as the ship is managed properly and captains don’t take short cuts out in the ocean where nobody is monitoring them

    This has on occasion happened and it is in the best interest of cruise lines to ensure that this practice, as rare as I am sure it is, is eradicated.

    One further point to consider is how much is being saved by not being at home during the voyage. The larger ships can be carrying up to 10,000 people on board so the amount of pollution that the average person normally produces at home in all their various activities must be taken onto account.

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About Me

I have worked in the Travel Industry for 33 years, ever since leaving school. My Dad was in the Navy so I guess I get my wanderlust from him. I was a Manager in a successful Travel Agency for 16 years before joining I am married and have a son who…

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