Cruising and the Environment

If you have ever thought of cruising with Holland America, you might be motivated by their three day sale starting on January 28,2008. Reduced deposits and coupon books sweeten the pot. This sale is for New bookings only.

I am the first to admit that cruising does have some impact on the environment, but don’t take everything that is written about the topic as gospel truth. We recycle, Freecycle, turn off unused rights and keep our thermostat set low to do our part in conserving resources. We even did a transcontinental trip by bicycle. It’s somewhat disconcerting to hear how environmentally unfriendly cruising is. It does appear that cruise lines are taking some measures to improve their impact on the environment as several ships now have environmental officers onboard. At least it’s a start. Until I thoroughly research the problem, my comments are strictly my own opinions.

Flying is three times greener than cruising, according to a recent article in the Telegraph. Keep in mind that greener is relative.The first paragraph offers a comparison between cruises and airplanes by figuring emissions on a per person basis. The first faulty bit of their equation is that they use the average numbers of passengers on the ship without adding the number of crew. The crew can number close to 1000 people,so adding these people to the equation would reduce the final number by half.

Later in the article, it was pointed out that all aspects of flying are not taken into account when calculating emissions. One must consider that a cruise is more than a means of transport from point A to point B. Cruise ships provide food, entertainment, laundry services and many other services that make it difficult to compare it with something as different as a flight.

Don’t forget that the crew members are not commuting back and forth to work everyday. How does that affect the comparison?

Obviously, the cruise lines need to become environmentally accountable and continue to improve and update their environmental policies. In the meantime, I will be waiting for a solar-powered ship. How hard would it be to equip the top deck with evacuated tubes and photo-voltaic cells? Think of all that sun in the Caribbean.

Which of these would look best on the ship?
solar panels

solar panels

solar panel
solar panels

Sail Away

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