Scale of cruise industry pollution in Alaska revealed

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 17.07.47Of late, the talk on the cruise industry has been very much focussed on whether Carnival’s fathom brand – which plans to take volunteers on short trips to ‘help’ in the Dominican Republic and Cuba – is a positive sign or a piece of cynical greenwash. In Travel Weekly last month, Editor-in-Chief Arnie Weissmann reported being told by Carnival Corp CEO Arnold Donald: ‘the time, effort and expense to launch Fathom has had a tremendous side benefit: It has helped change the conversation about cruising. ‘No one’s talking about Concordia or Triumph anymore,’ he said. ‘They’re talking about Fathom and Cuba.'”

Not everyone, it seems, got the memo. In an article for Skift, Andrew Sheivachman wrote that “The companies want consumers to forget that cruise ships are enormous vessels capable of causing severe damage to the environment”, before revealing that “Last week, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings admitted it was fined an unspecified amount by the State of Alaska for a series of environmental violations.”

In Brief
  • Data from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation reveals that Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line are the worst culprits for cruise ship pollution off Alaska.
  • Overall, there were 129 wastewater violations and 49 air pollution violations levied against cruise ships from 2010 to 2014 in the waters off Alaska.
  • Carnival Corp brands Princess Cruises and Holland America Line were recorded as having committed the most wastewater violations over the period.
In Depth


In the Future
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

Related Articles

- Sustainable Tourism Crash Course -spot_img

Useful resources