Home Curiosity How the Cruise Industry Is Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

How the Cruise Industry Is Becoming More Environmentally Friendly


Cruise ships are today’s engineering marvels, but they do give off a lot of emissions. Here’s how the cruise industry is becoming more environmentally friendly.

11.5 million Americans go cruising each year, more than any other country in the world.

Nowadays, consumers want more than flashy cruise packages, they want cruise lines with a conscience. Luckily, many cruise lines are becoming more environmentally friendly from running on alternative power to reducing their waste.

Not sure how? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know.

Becoming More Fuel Efficient 

You may wonder “how do cruise ships work when they’re environmentally friendly?”

Many cruise ships have added air lubrication to their hulls and parts of the cruise ship to reduce drag and fuel consumption. As a result, cruise liners are more efficient. Further, many cruise ports are letting ships “plugin” to shoreside power so they’re not churning out extra diesel when ashore.  

Controlling Emissions 

Before you Google “how do cruises work at controlling their carbon emissions?”, know they’re reducing air pollutants like sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide.

Instead, they’re using an exhaust gas cleaning system to be compliant with U.S. regulations. Companies are improving their cruise ship design by using alternative fuels like liquefied natural gas which is far more efficient than sulfur oxide. 

Disposing of Waste the Right Way

“How do cruises work in disposing waste?” You ask.

International law lets cruise ships discharge general waste at least 12 nautical miles from land. The rest is disposed of either onboard or when reaching shore.

A terrific way of reducing food waste is getting guests to choose their dinner choices early so companies don’t overproduce food items with excess waste. And for treating sewage, there are advanced wastewater treatment systems that have filtration and disinfecting technology that rival those onshore.  

Onboard Recycling

Still wondering “where are cruise ships built?”

Cruise ships are mostly made in shipyards and many newer models are enforcing stricter onboard recycling rules. For instance, cruise ships have recycling containers dotted onboard so items are separated. Once sorted, the recycled materials are crushed and ready to be disposed of at the shore. 

Combating Overtourism 

Venice, Barcelona, and Dubrovnik have all suffered from overtourism in the past.

Many cruise ship companies have taken this into account and understand the environmental impact of enormous crowds ashore. Now, they’re more focused on making shore excursions more sustainable by running tours that are certified by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable and eco-friendly trip, our award winning Antarctica cruise will leave you breathless.

That’s How Cruises Become Environmentally Friendly 

Many cruise ship companies are working to become more environmentally friendly. New cruise ships are being designed so they rely on alternative forms of energy, are equipped for recycling, and dispose of waste effectively.

Further, many large cruise ship companies are altering excursions so that overtourism doesn’t occur which is a major plus. Luckily, there are ethical cruise companies that explore Antarctica and offer guests a memorable experience. Happy cruising!

Did you find this article helpful? If so, check out our useful articles about sustainability.