The world is developing a growing awareness for environmentally friendly practices and the cruise industry is no exception. Over the past few years ‘green cruising’ has emerged as one of the inustry’s most talked about buzzwords, with an increasing number of companies jumping on-board and taking steps to greenify operations. Today’s cruise ships feature cutting edge green technology that is integrated across the board. Of course, passengers drive the trend which is why we’ve come up with a series of top eco-friendly cruising tips designed to help you go green in 2015!
Choose a line with environmentally responsible policies
One of the most effective ways to greenify your cruising experience is to choose a line that has already adopted eco-friendly policies. Norwegian Cruise Line is one of the clear-cut standouts and employs a robust Safety and Environmental Protection Policy that underpins all of its operations. This has won the line countless environmental awards as well as widespread respect from the cruising industry and environmental advocates alike. Every year the line continues to develop new ways to slash fuel consumption, reduce air emissions and make its cruises as eco-friendly as possible. We also love the Norwegian Escape’s colourful and environmentally conscious hull painted by world renowned marine wildlife artist Guy Harvey!
Silversea is another line comitted to ‘green cruising’ with Silver Spirit, Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper all equipped with state-of-the-art navigation technology that monitors weather conditions and regulates speed to conserve fuel. Carnival also makes a conscious effort to save fuel, its Inspiration and Miracle ships plugging into shore power technology while docked in California’s Long Beach port. Princess follows in suit, with ten of its vessels plugging in to hydroelectric power when docked in LA, Vancouver, Seattle and Juneau.
Reuse and recycle
If you reuse and recycle on dry land there’s no reason why you can’t continue your eco-friendly habits at-sea. Water bottles are a great place to start! Instead of throwing away plastic bottle after plastic bottle why not carry a refillable container that you can use time and time again? Line’s such as Carnival are comitted to recycling and will dispose of all of its plastic, glass, aluminum, scrap metal, cooking oil, petroleum oil, toner cartridges, electronics, refrigerants and photo processing liquids on dry land. On-board Carnival ships you’ll also find specially marked recycling containers where you can bin food, glass, plastic and aliminium.
Other lines will also make an effort to donate any unwanted equiptment to charity rather than send it to landfill sites or incinrators. This includes everything from furniture, mattresses and linen to kitchenware, appliances and electronics.
Offset your carbon footprint
At the end of the day cruising uses fuel. But, thankfully there are a few things you can do to offset your carbon footprint. Getting involved with a carbon footprint offset programme is a fantastic way to make sure that your leisure cruise doesn’t have a negative impact on the planet. The UK is currently running some great initiatives, with The World Land Trust’s donation drive and Carbon Footprint’s tree planting scheme two of our favourites.
When you cruise with Crystal you’ll be invited to participate in the line’s innovative “You Care, We Care” volunteer program. At no extra cost passengers can take part in a series of community-based conservation projects scattered across the line’s inventory of global ports. From forest restoration work in New Zealand, animal rescue initiatives in Europe, national park clean sweeps in Mexoci, fish conservation in Alaska and garden restorations in post- hurricane St. Maarten, the programme is a fantastic way for passengers to get involved!
Support lines that support the cause
Another great way to boost the eco credentials of your cruising experience is to conduct a little research into whether or not your chosen line supports any green initiatives. For example, since launching The Ocean Fund in 1996 Royal Caribbean has donated over US$12 million to more than 70 marine conservation groups carrying out incredible work across the globe. Celebrity is another ocean loving line, its Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos Fund calling on passengers to make a monetary donation and support the conservation of the Galapagos Islands.
With today’s leading lines making every effort to go green, cruising in 2015 is more eco friendly than ever before. Secure a great deal on itineraries with all the above lines by visiting the Cruise 1st site and browsing the huge range of packages from Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival and more.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Michael McGimpsey