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Cruise industry continues to build on successful track record

Cruise industry continues to build on successful track record

In honor of Earth Day, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is proud to highlight the recent and ongoing efforts of its member cruise lines to protect and preserve the environment in which they operate.

“In the 37 years since CLIA was established, our industry has made significant progress in reducing our environmental impact by implementing responsible practices and investing hundreds of millions of dollars in new technologies that are having a tremendous impact today,” said CLIA President and CEO Christine Duffy. “We believe it is our responsibility to protect the environment in which we operate, and we take great pride in the strides our industry has made to chart a sustainable course for future generations.”

CLIA members have been at the forefront of wastewater treatment, emissions reduction and developing innovative technologies to further reduce the environmental impact of cruising. As more fuel efficient ships have come into service, CLIA members have been systematically reducing air emissions, including sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and particulate matter. In the near future, international regulations will further reduce sulfur limits, helping to reduce air emissions across all oceans. To meet these standards, the industry has been investing in new technologies that manage the use of energy more effectively, such as testing the first ever cruise ship engine exhaust gas scrubbers and developing engines that run more efficiently.

“Our industry has a vested interest in protecting the environment, not only because it is the socially responsible thing to do – but because the very nature of our product depends on a healthy natural environment—clean oceans and beaches are essential to the cruise experience. CLIA has made great strides to become a leader in the maritime industry with responsible practices and innovations that are reducing environmental impact,” Duffy said.

Cruise ships have adopted rigorous programs to tackle waste disposal in an environmentally friendly manner, including doing all we can to minimise the potential waste coming on board ships. We also take extensive measures to recycle as much waste as possible by using segregated on-board collection bins. CLIA lines recycle approximately 80,000 tons of solid waste annually, comprised largely of paper, plastic, aluminum cans and glass. Other waste, such as hazardous waste and oily bilge water receive special treatment as well.


A number of lines have invested heavily in the use of shore-based power, allowing ship engines to be shut down while at port. A handful of ports on the North American west coast are now equipped with the necessary, and technically rather complex, facilities for ships to ‘plug-in’ when they are in port. CLIA members are involved at the international regulatory level to explore a universal approach toward shore power that would overcome current obstacles, which involve the source of shore power, the connection adapter itself, as well as electrical disparities from one country to the next.

For CLIA members, environmental stewardship is an important initiative for passengers and crew members alike. In an effort to raise awareness among guests and promote conservation, a number of CLIA member lines offer programs to specifically raise passenger awareness, including behind the scenes videos, onboard activities, educational partnerships in ports of call, and eco-friendly excursions. Along with these onboard programs, member ships promote recycling and the importance of conservation efforts.

CLIA member lines meet and often exceed all applicable environmental regulations on a ship’s voyage. Each country, and often states and localities, a ship visits may have its own rules and regulations and therefore cruise lines and their environmental staff must ensure the ship is compliant at all times. The Fleet of 2012 demonstrates the industry’s continued commitment and dedication to the environment.

To learn more about Cruise Lines International Association and our environmental initiatives, please visit:

Take a look at several notable initiatives employed by the CLIA fleet:

*  Several lines are in various stages of employing advanced wastewater treatment systems (AWTS) that produce water cleaner than what is discharged from most municipalities. In addition, members treat wastewater much further offshore than current regulations require.
*  Members of the Fleet of 2012 are utilising highly efficient insulation and heat reflective paint, which diminishes the need for chillers, pumps and distribution piping, allowing one new ship to be constructed with 25 percent less HVAC equipment.
*  One member line has partnered with non-profit “Clean the World” to recycle leftover toiletries, donating 388 pounds of soap and 1,203 bottles of shampoos and conditioners in 2010 for distribution to people in need.
*  One new ship’s public area is served with a clock system which is pre-programmed so that during quiet hours, the lighting automatically lowers to reduce the load and therefore reduces power demand.
*  Halogen and incandescent light bulbs have either been replaced on many lines or are being replaced with LED lights, which last 25 times longer, use 80% less energy, and generate 50% less heat.
*  A number of member lines use fabric bags – including laundry, dry cleaning, and shoe shine bags – in lieu of plastic bags, thereby reducing plastic from the waste stream.
*  Many lines are using ecological, non-toxic, slick hull coatings that save as much as 5% of fuel usage for propulsion.
*  CLIA member lines recycle approximately 80,000 tons of garbage in a given year including paper, plastic, aluminum cans and glass.
*  Our lines work with suppliers to reduce the amount of packaging materials coming onto the ships and require that in-cabin amenities be packaged in recyclable materials. As part of this, one of our member lines reduced the amount of waste landed ashore by 19 percent from the previous year and 47 percent from 2007 levels.

Various ships are installing high-efficiency appliances onboard their ships in order to minimise their impact on the environment. Every type of appliance onboard the ships is evaluated for efficiency, including TV’s, coffee makers, ovens and dishwashers.

The nonprofit Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world’s largest cruise industry organisation. CLIA represents the interests of 26 member lines and participates in the regulatory and policy development process while supporting measures that foster a safe, secure and healthy cruise ship environment. CLIA is also engaged in travel agent training, research, and marketing communications to promote the value and desirability of cruise vacations with thousands of travel agency and travel agent members across North America.