One of the biggest issues facing our world today is the ability to be eco-friendly. More and more cruise line companies have been noticing this problem and have been working hard “to safeguard the environment for future generations through responsible practices and continuous innovation”.
This statement comes from Christine Duffy of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), who claims that the companies are not only doing this to protect the waters and beaches they go to, but also for fiscal responsibility.
The standards of the environment worldwide are set out by a United Nations delegation, the International Maritime Organisation.
But CLIA and others have gone a step further with their efforts to maintain a clean and green record.
The major cruise lines, International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) and CLIA are participating in a successful joint effort known as “Cruise Forward”. The focus is to maintain environmental awareness and developing ways to reduce ship’s carbon impact through cruising.
Some of the areas that are being intensely focused on include waste water treatment, reducing harmful emissions from smokestacks and creating new technologies to help reduce the environmental impact even more.
Some of these groundbreaking changes include tinting the windows in a certain way to make the hallways cooler while cutting the use of the AC and installing LED lights that save over 80 percent of energy and last considerably longer.
All of this and several other techniques such as using gas scrubbers, making engines safer and more efficient and using more shore power has cut the use of emissions through the air by a huge amount.
All ships that travel in international waters are bound by these rules and almost all the countries in the world follow these guidelines.
Although solar power has yet to be taken in ships completely, some lines such as Celebrity and their ship Solstice have a field of solar panels in place to enclose their pool area.
Not only does this provide shade for the pool area or allow passengers to swim while it may be raining outside but the electricity produced by the solar panels easily reduced the demand for electricity from the ship’s engines. Many other lines followed suit after the success of this program.
On Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, the waste heat from the ship’s engines produces steam with the use of exhaust gas economizers. The finished product is then utilised in cabins, laundry, galleys and other public areas. The amount of energy needed is greatly reduced.
Some of the things that cruise ships are doing to reduce their carbon footprint are:
Placing solar panels on all ships to obtain renewable energy
Coatings the hulls that reduce the amount of fuel used
Spare water from the air conditioners used to clean the decks
More electronic tickets being printed in order to save on paper
All major appliances available on board are more energy efficient
Excess heat generated in the ships’ engine boilers with efficiently control evaporators turn sea water into drinkable water
Recycling the hot water and using it to heat the cabins and public areas
Most ships still produce their electricity using diesel engines with a number of others using gas turbine engines to generate electricity. Others use a combination of the two which is similar to what hybrid autos use and before too long, this will become the norm.
The cruise industry continues its environmental efforts through the nearly one year old launching of Cruise Forward.
All of these advancements and more from the Cruise Forward initiative, which has shown all of these changes in detail, are sure to impress both holiday makers and environmentalists from all walks of life. One can finally travel on a cruise holiday knowing the cruise industry is taking the environment seriously to benefit all.
For more information visit www.cruiseforward.org
Written by Veronica Shine