The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) today released two new resources, an environmental report and complementary video, on the occasion of CLIA’s 35th anniversary this year. The new report, ‘CLIA at 35: Steering a Sustainable Course,’ depicts the evolution of the modern cruise industry as it continues its efforts toward  conservation and the minimization of the industry’s impact on the environment in the years since CLIA’s founding in 1975.

“From ocean liners of decades past to the cruise ship of today, passenger vessels have always had a simple appeal: enjoy the clean open air and sea breeze while traveling to a special destination. The Cruise Lines International Association and its members are deeply committed to ensuring this picture does not change,” said Terry Dale, CLIA President and CEO.

“Our work is fundamentally inspired by the beauty of the sea,” said Howard Frank, Chairman of CLIA and Chief Operating Officer of Carnival Corporation & plc. “Our industry has invested millions of dollars in research and technology to ensure we are steering a sustainable course as we look ahead to our next 35 years and beyond.  It’s important that we respect this setting, and do our best to keep the environment in the pristine condition in which we find it.”

The report is available to download from CruiseIndustryFacts.com along with the video.  The video was produced in partnership with the North West and Canada Cruise Association.  These materials cover:

Waste Management: The management of wastewater is a complex and important element of cruise ship operations. Blackwater (water from toilets and medical facility drains) and graywater (water from cabin sinks and showers, laundry, galleys and spas) discharges are highly regulated. Our industry also adopted its own set of stringent wastewater best practices that go beyond regulatory requirements. In addition, CLIA ships have adopted rigorous programs to minimize their environmental footprint, tackle waste disposal, and reduce the potential waste coming on board ships and to recycle as much waste as possible. 

Regulations: As a global industry, cruise ships are highly regulated at the international level by flag State (where ships are registered), and port State (where our ships visit). CLIA members not only meet these standards, but in many ways exceed them.

Emissions Reduction: CLIA members have been systematically reducing air emissions as more fuel efficient ships have come into service and additional regulations come into effect. To achieve these reductions, the cruise industry has been investing in new technologies that manage the use of energy more effectively, such as testing  shipboard exhaust gas scrubbers, developing engines that run more efficiently, and the use of shore power technology.

Energy Consumption and Reduction: Other innovations help cruise ships conserve energy, including eco-friendly hull coatings, new hull designs that reduce resistance, waste heat recovery, and innovative air conditioning systems that minimize the amount of energy used to heat and cool the ship. In addition, some cruise ships are utilizing solar panels.

Partnerships:  CLIA turned to Conservation International in 2003 to serve as an environmental advisor, and through the resulting partnership, our members have been able to further minimize the cruise industry’s environmental footprint, and further understand ways in which we can minimize our impact on our environment.

“2010 marks the 35th anniversary of CLIA, and we produced these new materials to better share our decades of progress with the public,” Dale continued. “Our practices and procedures, combined with innovative new technologies, have allowed our industry to make significant strides beyond regulatory compliance to minimize the impact cruising has on the environment.  Our industry recognizes our responsibility to protect the environment, because it is upon our beautiful oceans that we sail.”