Cruising Responsibly

As a sustainable travel professional, I often get asked about cruising. Do I cruise? What do I think about cruising? Is cruising as bad as people think? Do they still dump waste in the ocean?

Admittedly, the cruise industry earned a lot of it negative environmental reputation after decades of less-than-ethical activities. That said, a lot has changed in the 21st century. People are more savvy when it comes to the environment and are demanding better performance from the businesses they support. The cruise industry stepped up to this challenge and is committed to making the industry a force for positive change in our global environmental quality.

At the end of the day, we have to remember that the cruise industry is just that, an industry of businesses. A business will always do what’s best for it’s bottom line (i.e. maximize profit). When asked how I can support an industry that is not 100% sustainable, I remind people that very few businesses are 100% perfect actors. We cannot let perfection prevent advancement or we run the risk of de-incentivizing the march toward improvement for many companies. As consumers, we have the power to create a demand for better environmental performance in the cruise industry. Let’s use it. Let’s reward those cruise lines who are making great strides and, consequentially, create that economic incentive for them to continue their march toward perfection.

For a great roundup of what environmental sustainability procedures each of the major cruise lines are implementing, I encourage you review this article…