If you are thinking of dishing out the dough for a cruise in the near future, why not take into consideration the environmental impact that various cruise lines have on our environment? Friends of the Earth has put together a quick and easy report card rating the top ten cruise lines that you can check out HERE.
For the first time, vacationers can decide which cruise to take based on a ship’s environmental and human health impacts,” said Marcie Keever, Clean Vessels Campaign Director at Friends of the Earth. “Typically, cruise ship passengers are attracted to cruise vacations with pictures of pristine waters and promises of unspoiled scenery and abundant wildlife, but these passengers are never told that their vacation could leave a dirty mark on the places they visit. This is something travelers should pay close attention to: half of the cruise lines we evaluated earned grades of C- or below.”
The results really surprised me with #10 a major blow to the mouse with the big ears and bow tie who lives down the street from me here in Orlando. In fact, one of Disney Cruise Lines big wigs lives right behind me. So in fairness to him I wanted to see what the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) had to say...and they make some good points.
Apparently, the lines knocked for not having advanced water treatment systems do use federally required sewage treatment systems in accordance with industry practices and procedures -- and that all waste water meets national clean water standards. Furthermore, in a statement on this matter, they point out that:
"The so-called 'Report Card' released by Friends of the Earth is not based on science, law or the facts, but rather FOE's own arbitrary and flawed criteria," the statement reads. "The grades in the report card clearly ignore the fact that our cruise lines comply with and in most cases exceed all applicable environmental regulations set by the Federal government and other regulatory bodies around the world. Fortunately Friends of the Earth has no authority in the matter. Regulatory compliance is not based on meeting Friends of the Earth's biased, unscientific interpretation of what the rules should be."
I remember reading information almost a year ago that Friends of the Earth had put together about the unfriendly Eco-practices of cruise ships. According to Friends of the Earth,
"a single cruise ship carrying 3,000 people can generate several hundred thousand gallons of human sewage? Or that cruise ships can dump this sewage untreated just three nautical miles from shore? It’s true."
You can help make a difference. Tell Congress HERE to support the Clean Cruise Ship Act of 2009 which will help force all cruise lines, even our beloved Disney, into better grades on the next Friends of the Earth cruise line report card.