Sustainable tourism is a hot topic currently in the travel world and making sure that cruise lines are using the most eco-friendly methods to keep their carbon-footprint low is a must. Last year, we discussed what cruise companies were doing to make their vessels more sustainable; since then, there have been massive strides in also looking after the destinations we visit.
So here are some of the newer features that cruise lines are planning to implement to keep tourism sustainable.
Royal Caribbean’s decision to take on this monumental task follows their commitment to offering guests 1,000 tours provided by operators certified by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standard. This stems from their 2020 World Wildlife Fund target and includes the entire family of brands (Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara). While their goal is set for 2020, Royal Caribbean is determined to get their programs implemented before the end of 2019.
Some of these unique tours include kayaking along Mallorca’s west coast to an underground Mayan River Cenote in Cozumel and grape harvesting at Pizzorno Winery in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Set to make her mark on the cruising world at the end of October, MSC Grandiosa will introduce two new major environmental advances to complement MSC Cruises’ sustainability goals. These two brand-new, state-of-the-art features include Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) systems.
The Selective Catalytic Reduction will help to convert up to 90% of emissions that the ship produces and turn them into non-harmful chemicals like nitrogen and water. As for the AWT system, nearly all wastewater will be sent through fine-filtration and a purification process to transform it into almost tap water quality. Thanks to these changes, MSC Grandiosa will have access to some of the more delicate waters around the world, including the Baltic Sea and Alaska.
Currently, 11 of the 17 vessels in MSC Cruises’ fleet are equipped with hybrid engines, cutting 98% of sulphur dioxide that is emitted from the vessel. The other six vessels have also been scheduled to receive these changes by the end of 2021, meaning the whole fleet will be using low sulphur fuels and complying with current and new maritime regulations.
With their decision to remove single-use plastic straws across their entire fleet in 2018, this year brings another step towards the goal to remove these materials all together, cutting out six million single-use plastic bottles every year. The first vessel to receive this change is their latest addition, Norwegian Encore, where the changes will take place before 1st January 2020. Once again, this focuses on a more sustainable method of cruising and keeping our oceans clean of plastic bottles.
With cartons that are 82% recyclable and bottling facilities from all around the world, there are plenty of sustainable ways to transport water to the ship.
These aren’t the only cruise companies who are transitioning into more green methods of travel. Other large cruise lines are also investing millions in projects to keep tourism not only clean but sustainable.
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