The term "green cruising" might seem like an oxymoron for an industry that has long been condemned for paying little mind to the natural resources that fuel its success. Indeed, billowing smokestacks and highly publicized incidents of offshore dumping are enough to convince some readers that waste and pollution -- in the sky and sea -- are major issues. When polled, 39 percent of Cruise Critic readers said that lines "do only what's required" though interestingly enough, almost the same number, 38 percent, felt that cruise lines "are very environmentally conscious."
No matter what side of the fence you're on, it's no secret that oil spills in recent years have brought the cruise industry's responsibility to the environment front and center. In November 2007, G.A.P. Adventures' expedition ship, Explorer, sank in Antarctica leaving behind a diesel fuel slick 590 by 66 feet in size. Earlier that same year, Louis Cruise Lines' Sea Diamond sank off the coast of Santorini, oozing as much as 100 tons of fuel into the Aegean Sea; Greece's Merchant Marine Ministry has since fined parent company Louis Group, operator Louis Cruise Lines and Greek captain Yiannis Marinos a total of 1.17 million euros ($1.57 million) for pollution.
Also, a survey conducted by the World Wildlife Fund revealed that most cruise and ferry companies operating in the Baltic Sea have failed to "voluntarily ban" the polluting practice of waste water dumping. In a recent campaign, 50-plus companies were contacted -- and 11, including Peter Deilmann and Hurtigruten, pledged to stop discharging untreated wastewater. Among those that didn't agree are Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Hapag-Lloyd and AIDA.
However, despite the bad rap, it's important to know that all cruise lines do follow their own set of environmental policies; major components of these include recycling, as well as incinerating and processing waste onboard.
Even newer and more innovative initiatives go beyond these efforts. Celebrity Cruises has begun installing solar panels on its newest ships for powering onboard components such as LED lights. Celebrity Solstice launched with 80 panels; Celebrity Equinox was built with 216. Several ships in Holland America's and Princess' fleets "plug in" to shore power in Northwest ports to reduce emissions and reduce consumption of shipboard fuel. And by the end of 2010, Royal Caribbean will become the first cruise line to implement potentially a ground-breaking scrubber technology, on Independence of the Seas. A product called CSNOx will be installed, which not only reduces sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide but also carbon dioxide.
Norwegian Cruise Line donates used cooking grease to an organic farmer in Miami, and has been doing the same in Hawaii. Carnival U.K. is also testing cooking oil conversion on ships docking in Southampton -- used cooking oil is turned into environmentally friendly biodiesel. Because the process does not involve virgin plants, it does not impact on the global food shortage. It also releases less carbon dioxide than standard diesel over its lifecycle. How effective is this? In one three-month period during 2008, 45 tons of cooking oil were recycled this way. That's enough biodiesel to run an average family car for 475,000 miles, the equivalent of driving around the equator more than 19 times.
Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean is making a lot of small changes that add up to big impact, such as tweaking the arrival and departure times at some ports of call so ships can save fuel while sailing to the next port, altering the speed of ships while at sea to gain the greatest fuel efficiency, and using special window tinting to keep ships cooler and reduce the load placed upon the air conditioning systems. They've even installed more energy-efficient appliances -- including new icemakers that use 65 percent less water than previous models.
And the ports are chipping in too: San Diego recently instituted a voluntary vessel speed reduction program; cruises (and cargo vessels) coming into port are asked to obey a speed limit of 15 (12 for cargo) knots when traveling in the Bay in order to reduce air pollution (and save fuel in the process). Venice and La Spezia are set to become "green ports," too, developing a system to supply shore-side electrical power to vessels in their berths as is done elsewhere in the world.
What's your cruise line doing to protect the regions in which it sails? We've rounded up the responses of several companies below. But first, here are some "Did you know?" tidbits -- compiled by the North West CruiseShip Association, Cruise Lines International Association and yours truly -- for those who want to get into the nitty-gritty of cruise ship pollution and conservation:
There are three types of waste water: bilge water, black water (or sewage) and grey water. Bilge water is oily engine run-off and condensation that collects in the bilge, a compartment at the bottom of a vessel's hull where water collects and is later pumped out. Grey water comes from showers and sinks. Black water, perhaps the most damaging to the environment, comes from the toilets and from the drains and sinks of the infirmary.
When water is treated to reduce its oil content below 15 parts of oil per million parts of water, the law allows it to be discharged virtually anywhere.
Although accidents have happened, cruise ships' environmental standards meet or surpass all U.S. and international laws; the cruise industry represents only 0.2 percent of all ocean-going vessels worldwide.
Ships are required to reduce the solid waste they generate by: purchasing in bulk, encouraging suppliers to use more efficient packaging, reusing packaging when possible and packaging more environmentally friendly materials. In addition, ships must actively recycle glass, metals, wood, cardboard and paper.
In the last 10 years, cruise ships have cut their waste and garbage almost in half, while sustaining a growth in cruise capacity averaging 7.6 percent annually.
Carnival Cruise Lines
Onboard Policies: Although international law allows disposal of some items at sea, Carnival chooses to recycle, incinerate or offload all waste materials (plastic, glass, rags, metal, fluorescent lamps, batteries and medical waste) from its ships for disposal on land. Ships process and incinerate solid waste onboard whenever possible or send it to an approved shoreside facility for treatment, recycling or disposal. Cooking oil and grease are reused onboard as alternative fuel. Mattresses, televisions, blankets and computers are not disposed of but instead donated to local charities in homeports and ports of call.
Conscious Crew: All Carnival Cruise Lines employees attend a familiarization course, which provides instruction on shipboard waste management. The line also provides specialized training to all shipboard and relevant shoreside employees, with advanced training required for key positions.
Special Projects/Awards: Through an alliance with the International SeaKeepers Society, Carnival has installed devices on the Carnival Triumph and Carnival Spirit that monitor ocean water quality. The monitor, mounted in the ship's bow, tracks water temperature and salinity, pH, oxygen and redox (reduction/oxidation reaction) levels, as well as air temperature, wind speed and direction, solar radiation, barometric pressure, and relative humidity. Data is transmitted via satellite to environmental groups, governmental agencies and universities to aid in assessing ocean pollution and researching global climate changes and weather patterns.
The line also supports community programs and local initiatives such as the Coral Reef Task force and beach clean-ups ashore. Carnival's Spirit class ships (Spirit, Pride, Legend and Miracle) have all received Green Star notation by RINA, Italy's Shipping Classification and Certification Agency. The notation is based on the highest environmental standards for pollution prevention and marine preservation, and is stricter than the provisions of the international MARPOL (short for "marine pollution") convention, which most cruise lines follow.
Green Guests: Specially marked containers are scattered throughout each ship in the fleet to encourage cruisers to recycle. Designated bins, located in public areas and on open decks, collect food, glass, aluminum and plastic products; recycling bins are also located in steward stations, galley and crew areas, room service pantries, and bar pantries.
Carnival parent Carnival Corporation -- which also owns Holland America, Princess, P&O, Cunard and more -- has set up a dedicated e-mail address for employees and cruise passengers worldwide who have questions or need to draw attention to a concern regarding environmental management systems. That address is email@example.com.
Onboard Policies: Technologically advanced equipment treats and processes waste; environmental audits measure and improve the company's performance.
Conscious Crew:Costa's Environmental Compliance Department -- and a dedicated Environmental Officer aboard each ship -- ensures all regulations are obeyed and handles any issues that arise. Crewmembers receive training focused on raising awareness of the potential impact of onboard practices; those with specific responsibilities related to green cruising also attend higher-level courses.
Special Projects/Awards: Though other ships hold the honor, such as Carnival's Spirit class of vessels, Costa was the first cruise line to be awarded a Green Star notation (in 2005) for its entire fleet by RINA, Italy's Shipping Classification and Certification Agency. Costa is also RINA-certified with BEST 4, Business Excellence Sustainable Task, voluntary certifications in social accountability, environmental protection, and workplace health safety and quality.
Costa supports the World Wildlife Fund (through donations) in three of the most endangered marine regions in the world: the Mediterranean Sea, the Greater Antilles and Northeastern Brazil. The cruise line has also introduced a new aluminum recycling initiative for its ships calling on the Port of Savona.
Green Guests: Costa provides its guests with informative material that highlights its efforts onboard and with the World Wildlife Fund; vouchers are placed in each cabins for guests who choose to make a donation (charged directly to their onboard account) of $3, $5 or $10. Children who participate in Club Squok activities receive special educational opportunities, such as learning about endangered species through gamees and posters.
Onboard Policies: Special compacters process garbage; the one on Queen Mary 2 is four decks high.
Conscious Crew: The line apprises all crew of strict environmental policies when they join or return to a ship. This training includes the way in which waste is separated, the reasons why waste is separated, and the importance of following and maintaining these strict protocols.
Special Projects/Awards:Cunard only purchases seafood from sustainable sources. The line is also working to reduce air emissions by implementing various fuel efficiency measures, including improved hull coating, low energy lamps, increased recirculation of heat and more efficient air conditioning. On the new Queen Elizabeth, twilight sensors will switch deck lighting off at dawn (and on again at dusk).
Green Guests: The Daily Program, distributed to every guest's stateroom, explains the ship's disposal and recycling procedures, though Cunard staff further separates waste in the pantries. During some voyages, the Environmental Officer will appear as a guest on the morning TV show to further discuss and explain what the company does to protect the environment.
Disney Cruise Line
Onboard Policies:Disney Cruise Line follows international federal and state laws for environmental standards. Energy- and water-saving efforts are unique: rerouted excess heat generated in the ships' engine boilers efficiently powers evaporators used in the process of turning sea water into potable water. Plus, up to 33 percent of the water used onboard the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder is reclaimed from condensation in the shipboard air conditioning units and then re-used to wash the decks.
Conscious Crew: Ships have onboard Environmental Officers responsible for overseeing and verifying all environmental systems, procedures and equipment; officers also oversee shipboard recycling, waste minimization and water reclamation efforts, particularly on Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. The officers also supervise shipboard environmental education classes, which highlight waste minimization, separation and recycling efforts, for all new and returning crewmembers.
Special Projects/Awards: The utilization of a new hull coating applied to the Disney Wonder increased fuel efficiency; the coating is completely non-toxic and reduces surface resistance in the water. The Disney Wonder was the first ship in the cruise industry to utilize this innovative coating.
Green Guests: Disney encourages guests -- and crewmembers -- to take part in the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund donation program, which supports conservation efforts, scientific research and habitat protection for wildlife around the globe. To date, the fund has raised over 10 million dollars, supporting more than 650 wildlife projects in 110 countries worldwide. The cruise line also sponsors educational and inspiration programs for adults and children, including Jiminy Cricket's "Environmentality" Quiz Show.
Onboard Policies: As with other lines, Holland America purifies wastewater onboard, and all ships have recycling, as well as garbage and hazardous material programs; unneeded items, such as beds and furniture, are donated rather than thrown away. Where Holland America is breaking new ground is in the details. For example, it prints all onboard materials with soy-based inks. Dry cleaning machines that use non-hazardous detergents formulated with soy, banana and orange extracts are replacing standard equipment. And in the medical center, Holland America is implementing digital technology onboard to eliminate the chemicals used by traditional X-ray machines.
Conscious Crew: Stationed on every ship, Environmental Officers provide environmental training and oversee shipboard compliance with environmental requirements.
Special Projects/Awards: While stationed in Seattle, Holland America buys and uses electricity ("shore power") provided by Seattle City Light for Westerdam, Noordam and Oosterdam instead of burning shipboard fuels. This move will reduce both fuel consumption and air emissions. The line is also testing out cutting edge emission reduction technology on its Zaandam. Essentially a modification to the exhaust stack on the ship, a scrubber reduces engine emissions -- using seawater. Holland America received a first place award in the Best Cruise or Ferry Operator category in Virgin Holidays' Responsible Tourism Awards 2008.
Green Guests: Each ship's Environmental Officer offers environmental presentations on every cruise. On cruises to Alaska and Antarctica, enrichment speakers also deliver a variety of environmental and ecological presentations.
Onboard Policies: Partnered with the National Geographic Society, Lindblad concentrates on extensive environmental research, with the goal to "positively impact the areas we explore and in which we work." In addition to the usual reuse and recycle programs, Lindblad donates materials such as crockery, linens, lifejackets, Zodiacs, outboard motors, books, field guides and surplus food (past recipients of donations include the American Red Cross and Salvation Army Homeless Youth Shelter).
Conscientious Crew: Lindblad encourages its employees to participate in volunteer programs, and employee charity matching programs have donated to organizations including the Andrew Glover Youth Program and Camp Hope. The line often donates ship space for environmental conferences, symposia and fundraising activities.
Special Projects/Awards: Lindblad only uses seafood farmed from sustainable sources. The line asks suppliers where catches were made, and by what method, and purchases and serves species not over-fished or caught through environmentally harmful practices (you won't find shrimp onboard, for example). Lindblad also supports fisheries that emphasize minimizing ecosystem damage. The effectiveness of this program -- called Seafood for Thought -- was confirmed when Lindblad won the 2007 Seafood Champion Award by Seafood Choices Alliance (2006 recipients included celebrity chefs Rick Moonen and Jacques Pepin). Lindblad also won the 2007 Tourism for Tomorrow Global Tourism Business Award at the 7th Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.
Lindblad Expeditions started the Galapagos Conservation Fund (GCF) in 1997 as an opportunity for guests to contribute directly to local conservation projects; the fund has raised more than 4 million dollars (as of October 2007). Lindblad has also created a Climate Change Action Plan in conjunction with Clean Air-Cool Planet focused on lessening the company's environmental footprint.
Green Guests: The line gears certain sailings toward environmental education even more than others. In July 2008, Lindblad hosted the Arctic Expedition for Climate Action onboard its National Geographic Endeavour, during which a coalition of individuals -- politicians, journalists, scientists, religions leaders and community activists -- came together to discuss the climate crisis.
Onboard Policies: All waste is treated, including aluminum cans, which will be recycled into sheet aluminum at port. There are also environmentally friendly incinerator units for both wood and paper.
Conscious Crew: MSC Cruises trains all crewmembers when they embark to increase their environmental awareness. Due to shift rotations, training is repeated periodically in order to ensure constant crew preparation throughout a series of meetings. Crewmembers (particularly the waste management team in charge of separation and breakdown) are trained to be fully aware of waste management procedures.
Green Guests: There are numerous advisories in each stateroom. For example: in the bathroom, a sign informs passengers where they should place their towels (on the floor if they would like a new one, or on the rack if they will reuse) to prevent an overuse of detergents from polluting the sea. Other advisories are present in the Daily Program and compendium informing passengers to refrain from throwing any item (waste and cigarettes) overboard.
Special Projects/Awards: MSC Poesia, which entered the fleet in early 2008, is one of the most environmentally friendly cruise vessels in the industry. It's the first ever to be coated with Intersleek 900 paint with "four release" -- a non-toxic substance that helps lower carbon dioxide emissions through the reduction of fuel. There are other energy safeguards, too. Each passenger's cruise card doubles as the on/off switch for electricity and air conditioning in their stateroom; the system disables certain lights, hairdryers and air conditioning when the cabin is unoccupied.
In a new agreement with the Italian National Consortium for the collection and recycling of aluminum, a special aluminum collection will be made from ships departing from Genoa and Venice. Items that will be taken and recycled include tin cans, foil used in cooking, and tubs and containers used for storage. The recycled material will be reused for household goods, furnishings and other purposes.
MSC Cruises was one of the first lines to support the "Venice Blue Flag" project, set up to control emissions of all the ships in transit between Bocca di Porto Lido and the Maritime Station of this lagoon capital. MSC Cruises has also been awarded the ISO 14001 Environmental Protection certificate from the Bureau Veritas, and CLEAN-SEA2 and CLEAN-AIR certificates, which are assigned to ships that care for the environment and follow strict emission measures.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Onboard Policies: The only solid waste discharged to sea is food waste, considered safe because either animals consume it or natural elements break it down in the water. Each ship either treats black water, disposes of it on shore or discharges it at sea more than 12 miles from land. Gray water is either treated or discharged at sea more than four miles from land. Incinerators burn oil, paper, cardboard and some plastics onboard. What cannot be burned, or where incineration is not permitted, solid waste including other plastics, aluminum, glass and wood is brought ashore for recycling or licensed disposal.
Conscious Crew: A shoreside department is devoted to environmental protection, and trained environmental officers sail onboard every NCL ship. All crewmembers also receive training.
Special Projects/Awards: In Hawaii, all NCL and NCL America ships offload their used cooking oil for recycling to bio-diesel. Norwegian Cruise Line recently completed an initiative at the Port of Miami to recycle used cooking grease from Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Pearl as well; the line donated approximately 1,300 gallons of oil to an organic farmer who converted the oil to 870 gallons of bio-diesel to power farming equipment. In 2008, Norwegian Pearl received the port of San Francisco's Cruise Ship Environmental Award, recognized for onboard systems that help decrease air and water pollution (Norwegian Sun received this award in 2007).
NCL also utilizes Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) -- a.k.a. shore power -- at the Port of Los Angeles.
Green Guests: The line encourages its guests to recycle. Young cruisers who participate in Kid's Crew can learn about the importance of clean water, and the effects and prevention of marine pollution through Officer Snook's Water Pollution Program (Officer Snook is a cartoon fish). Possible activities include a simulated beach cleanup and an environmental poster contest. High school students can earn between one and five hours of community service for participating in the program.
Orion Expedition Cruises
Onboard Policies: Orion Expedition Cruises' sole ship, the MV Orion, has been purpose-built to navigate inaccessible, exotic regions without disrupting their physical and cultural integrity. Orion carries National Park Rangers (or equivalent representatives) to guide the group when expeditions land ashore in restricted or protected areas. After activities ashore, all waste is returned to the ship for recycling after each day's expedition. Onboard, waste is treated and disposed of to strict protocols.
Conscious Crew: In addition to following company protocol for proper waste management, crewmembers are trained to ensure that during shore landings, the impact on the environment and exotic species or microorganisms is minimized. For example, between shore landings, boots and walking sticks or axes are washed, with the washing water disposed of into the sea close to the point of origin.
Special Projects/Awards: Orion has been issued certificates for pollution and garbage handling; a certified sewage treatment plant and an efficient, high voltage electric incinerator can be found onboard. The company also engages in special projects, such as recycling the ship's bed linen by donating it to remote hospitals, rather than throwing it away. In 2008, Orion was awarded the Green Globe Bronze by worldwide benchmarking authority Green Globe for its commitment to sustainability and operational performance.
Green Guests: Orion's onboard team of marine biologists, zoologists and ornithologists brief guests through the natural and cultural wonders of their destinations, reinforcing the expedition line's environmental focus and efforts.
P&O Cruises/Ocean Village (Carnival U.K.)
Onboard Policies: Carnival U.K. lines, such as P&O and Ocean Village, follow the same standard practices as Carnival Corp. in the U.S.: Waste materials are recycled, incinerated or offloaded for disposal on land.
Conscious Crew: All Carnival U.K. employees are instructed on shipboard waste management. The line also provides specialized training to all shipboard and relevant shoreside employees, with advanced training required for key positions.
Special Projects/Awards: Ocean Village recently replaced plastic bags with linen ones for laundry items. And, as noted earlier, Carnival U.K. is converting cooking oil into environmentally friendly bio diesel onboard. In other U.K. news, the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS) have partnered to increase public and scientific understanding of the oceans. One possible project is the collection of water samples to assist scientists in understanding the role of the ocean in climate change.
Green Guests: P&O will host experts from the Marinelife & Biscay Dolphin Research Programme onboard its ships to monitor the movement of whales and dolphins. Global warming appears to have prompted them to travel further north.
Onboard Policies: Waste is properly recycled or offloaded.
Conscious Crew: Princess places environmental officers onboard all of its ships.
Special Projects/Awards: Nine Princess ships are currently enabled to "plug in" to clean, local hydroelectric power when they dock in Seattle, Juneau, Los Angeles and Vancouver.
Green Guests: Specially marked containers are scattered throughout each ship in the fleet to encourage cruisers to recycle.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Onboard Policies: Regent follows aggressive programs in waste management, water reuse and recycling, and shoreside waste disposal. Equipment onboard that supports these programs includes grinders for food and product waste, separators for galley products and recycling; crushers for glass, aluminum and cardboard materials; incinerators for food, cardboard, paper and other waste by-products; and the latest membrane bio-reactor technology for advanced wastewater treatment.
Conscious Crew: An environmental officer sails onboard each ship and is responsible for training crew in proper and preferred practices.
Special Projects/Awards: Regent was one of the first cruise lines to take a stand against visiting sites that hold dolphins in captivity. This is a cruel practice against animals that occurs mainly in the Caribbean. RSSC also recently expanded its partnership with Jean Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society, which offers enrichment programs for adults and youth on the topic of conservation and marine life.
Green Guests: The line offers a special "Circle of Interest" cruise for youths -- Ambassadors of the Environment onboard Seven Seas Mariner in Alaska. Ambassadors (ages 10 to 17) will look for whales, hike forest trails and learn about the state's many sea creatures. Parents are encouraged to join them on these eco-excursions.
Onboard Policies: As part of the company's Save the Waves program, an advanced wastewater purification system treats all wastewater onboard. There's a zero discharge policy on solid waste; food waste is pulped and discharged more than 12 miles from land. To nip unnecessary waste in the bud, the line eliminated all disposable plastic items typically available to guests -- such as shampoo bottles, plastic plates and flatware -- in favor of reusable or biodegradable options.
Conscious Crew: An environmental officer maintains the overall program on each ship. All crew receive training on their environmental responsibilities within their first few hours onboard.
Special Projects/Awards:Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas is equipped with an atmospheric and oceanographic laboratory to help scientists conduct ocean and climate research. The lab, operated by the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), can track pollutants in the air and sea, measure the flow of currents to understand the balance and distribution of heat on the planet, collect data to use in ocean and hurricane models, and monitor populations of organisms living in the sea. Although the focus is long-term scientific study and analysis, the National Hurricane Center also uses the data to improve storm track predictions. The company is installing new generators, which will produce electricity much more efficiently, on Radiance- and Millennium-class ships.
The Ocean Fund, established in 1996 by Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, has since awarded $7.1 million in grants to marine conservation organizations dedicated to protecting the ecosystems of the world's oceans.
Green Guests: Royal Caribbean's Adventure Ocean program offers children and teens hands-on science experiments involving the environment. In the Caribbean, for instance, young cruisers can analyze the region's clouds, air temperature, precipitation, humidity and more in special "edu-tainment" classes.
Onboard Policies: Seabourn operates, as do most cruise lines, under an extensive grid of international guidelines and restrictions meant to minimize its ecological footprint and in 2008 received its ISO 14001 certification. This is an international standard for the highest level of environmental management for companies.
Conscious Crew: There is an environmental officer onboard every Seabourn vessel on every cruise, and as a part of maintaining the ISO certification, goals are continually raised and progress monitored and reported.
Special Projects/Awards: Seabourn is designing its upcoming launches to meet or exceed environmental standards; Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn SoujournSojourn will qualify for RINA's Green Ship designation. The new yachts will have: advanced wastewater treatment systems, advanced systems for handling food waste that will reduce water consumption in the galleys, and fancoil chillers that will reduce the amount of energy required to cool public spaces and suites.
Green Guests: Guest programs include distribution of general information about reducing the impact on the environment, and specific programs such as the voluntary re-use of bathroom linens and reduced bed linen change. Recycling is encouraged.
Onboard Policies: Star Clippers has a unique advantage -- because its ships really "sail," the line is able to supplement its engines with actual wind power. This gives guests a true sailing experience while reducing fuel consumption.
Conscious Crew: Star Clippers' crew are tasked with maximizing the amount of time the line's sailing ships are under wind power, In the Caribbean, the ships operate under wind power about 60 percent of the time, depending on conditions.
Special Projects/Awards: Star Clippers has added a new environmental research and educational marine program onboard its Royal Clipper. The line recruited Italian marine biologist Dr. Mariano Peruzzo to sail onboard for the summer 2009 season and offer daily talks on marine biology relevant to the area in which the ship is sailing at that given time. Lectures will touch upon topics such as climate change and the history of oceanography.
Star Clippers was also the first ship in the word to receive the International Air Pollution Certificate, for burning high-quality, less-polluting fuel.
Green Guests: In addition to attending marine lectures onboard Royal Clipper, guests are encouraged to dispose of trash properly. There's a strict nothing-overboard policy.
Onboard Policies: Information was not supplied by press time; we'll keep you posted.
Conscious Crew: Information was not supplied by press time; we'll keep you posted.
Special Projects/Awards: Information was not supplied by press time; we'll keep you posted.
Green Guests: Thomson Holidays encourages its costumers to make a donation to the World Care Fund with each booking. The recommended donation of £1 per passenger (50p for children), is matched by the company, and split between two charities -- ClimateCare, which funds carbon-offsetting projects, and The Travel Foundation, which helps local communities improve their tourism industry.
Viking River Cruises
Onboard Policies: Viking River Cruises' ships comply with appropriate environmental laws.
Conscious Crew: Crew are encouraged to recycle.
Special Projects/Awards: Viking River's newest ship, Viking Legend, was designed to be the greenest in the fleet with diesel-electric hybrid engines. These use 20 percent less fuel than engines on comparable diesel-only ships. An extra bonus: the ship also provides a quieter ride by using four smaller propellers instead of two large ones. This is the first technology of its kind in the European river cruise market. The ship also has its own water treatment plant onboard, so only treated water is released into the ocean, and items such as oil, petroleum and kitchen waste are disposed of properly ashore.
Green Guests: Passengers are encouraged to recycle.
Editor's note: Cruise lines that were contacted but did not respond include Fred. Olsen and Silversea.