Our celebrity columnist, Julie Peasgood, on the eco-friendly initiatives cruise lines are implementing.
But don’t you feel guilty going on all these cruises?’ says Simon. This is proving to be quite a challenging dinner party (and he’s hogging the pudding). ‘Well guilt isn’t exactly top of my list of emotions when I’m planning a cruise,’ I reply, ‘especially as it’s my job.’
‘So what about the environment?’ he retorts. ‘What are cruise lines doing to reduce
their ecological impact?’
A lot actually, Simon. Cruising may not be the greenest of holidays but sustainability is one of the most prominent issues the cruise industry faces today, and with cruise travel increasing in popularity every year urgent solutions are being sought – and thankfully found and implemented.
Significant technological advances are producing more energy-saving hull and propeller designs; emissions are decreasing with the use of liquefied natural gas as fuel rather than diesel; innovative scrubbers are being implemented to cut down exhaust pollution (scrubbers use seawater to cleanse dirty fuel before returning it to the ocean) and improved water purification systems are being employed – alongside low-flow showers to cut water consumption.
Many lines have cut out single-use plastics, and the widespread use of initiatives such as keycards to cut off power when you’re not in your cabin are all helping. Plus cruise lines signed up to CLIA have ‘pledged to reduce the rate of carbon emissions across the industry fleet by 40% by 2030’ – ‘Can you pass the cheesecake please?’
I hosted the British Cruise Awards recently where both guests of honour, Baroness Floella Benjamin, OBE, and Rachel Johnson, praised the different ways cruise lines are trying to minimise their impact on the environment. Next year there is talk of an award celebrating the leaders in the field of sustainability, and I have a feeling it will be a crowded category.