February 16, 2001
The Justice Department has expanded its investigation of cruise industry environmental missteps to Norwegian Cruise Line’s parent company NCL Holdings. The company has said that it found a pattern of violations on its several ships and has taken steps to correct the problem. No specifics were revealed but investigation of cruise lines’ environmental practices has been underway for at least the last half-decade. The high point of the Justice Department’s efforts (along with the Coast Guard) -- or, rather, low point -- was when Royal Caribbean agreed to pay $27 million after it was discovered that employees on various ships had routinely dumped oil into coastal waters. In some cases, ships even doctored their logbooks. Prior to the latest investigation into Norwegian Cruise Lines, Carnival had had its environmental records subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in Miami. The documents have been provided but so far there’s been no outcome on that as yet.