Cruisin’ for an ocean bruisin’

February 2, 2016

The environmental impacts of cruise ships

It sometimes pains me greatly to shed a bit of light on an uncomfortable reality; I hate being a party-pooper or raining on parades. This is definitely one of those times.

There’s no denying cruise ships are a wonderful way to vacation: great destinations, supreme comfort and limitless food. Who could ask for more?

But cruise ships have an environmental grim side. They burn massive amounts of fuel (large ones only get about 50 feet to the gallon), and many burn a type of fuel that produces high sulphur and soot emissions. They typically discharge large amounts of bilge water, greywater, sewage (which may or may not be treated) and even solid waste. It’s enough to make you not want to go back to the buffet for seconds.

So what to do? Alas, Reduce, the first of the three Rs, is always the best option – there are many vacation options with far smaller environmental impacts than cruise ships.

But if you’ve got your heart set on a cruise, why not check out Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card before you book? It compares the environmental footprint of different cruise lines and ships – a small way you can reduce the ocean bruisin’ caused by cruisin’.


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