Sustainable Tourism & Cruising

Cruising is a booming market, which has weathered the recession and the stream of new ships very well. As the industry grows worries will develop about the islands and destinations the ship visit, and if they are being overwhelmed by a huge influx sometimes significantly bigger than the local population.

According to Wikipedia; Sustainable tourism is about making a low impact on the environment and local culture, but providing jobs for local people. Sustainable tourism is about providing a positive experience for all stakeholders, tour operators, locals, tourists and so on…

We at think this is only going to be coming increasingly important over the next few years, as people don’t want to go to destinations ruined by the commercialisation but experience truly different locations with interesting cultures and wonderful environments.

Cruise Lines have taken strong steps to improving their green credentials, and are making steps towards promoting sustainable tourism. Crystal Cruises ‘You Care, We Care’ Voluntourism series of excursions allow passengers to help local communities, such as in Antigua passengers can feed, walk and look after stray donkeys. Others include preparing winter items for low-income & homeless children as well as working in a kitchen to feed the homeless & less fortunate.

Windstar Cruises provided us with their Commitment to Environmental Protection document, this outlines what Windstar does to improve their procedures and practices to be an environmentally friendly business. A quick outline of the initiatives are:
– Each cruise has a senior crew member dedicated as Environmental Officer, whose job it is to preserve and protect the marine environment.
– Windstar recycles cooking oil from galleys and printer and photo cartridges
– Unlike any other cruise line Windstar can use the vessels sails to reduce fuel consumption, and will revise itineraries to reduce the use of fuel.
– Working with suppliers to reduce waste packaging.

Windstar isn’t alone in this as many cruise lines have similar policies to environmental protection. However during our research for this article we found that Uniworld River Cruises has invested a significant amount of time, money and effort to be a sustainable cruise operator.

Uniworld works with charities in the destinations it visits to support sustainable tourism, through protection of environments, and local community engagement, to the promotion of sustainable tourism as a tool for economic growth. See More Here:

The river cruise lines to appear to be ahead of the ocean cruise lines in sustainable tourism and environmental practices, Viking River Cruises hybrid Viking Legend is a perfect example (seen here)

Our next article, tomorrow, will look at the effect of Cruise Lines on the islands & destinations they visit. Check out our previous articles on Green Cruising & Vikings Hybrid Cruise Ship The EOSEAS Concept.

Do you think cruise lines can do more to promote sustainable tourism and environmental practices? Let us know, comment, email, facebook & twitter.

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Windstar Cruises –
Uniworld Cruises –

Green Cruising.

We have touched on the topic of ‘Green’ Cruising in our article on EOSEAS, the concept environmentally friendly cruise ship. See that article here (opens in a new window)
However when we did that article we were unaware that Viking River Cruises, seen here, actually operate two hybrid Diesel Electric river cruise vessels.

These ships, Viking Legend & Viking Prestige, run on diesel-electric propulsion this means that they use 20% less energy than comparative vessels. Which has a significant cost saving over the life of the vessel. Also due to the nature of these engines they vibrate less, offering a significantly quieter and more comfortable vessel. All this means the ship produces 20% fewer emissions. The ship also uses four propellers compared to the conventional two.

Many people argue that to be green you have to save more, and have less, however this diesel-electric propulsion is allowing for reduced energy costs, less emissions and a more comfortable journey.

In the ferry industry, It is our understanding that LNG is being used in the construction of ferries, as a way of saving money on fuel, rather than as a great environmental issue. We actually have very little knowledge about the ferry industry, but if you do know let us know too!

Now all we need is a cruise line to supersize this. Less Vibrations + Higher Profit + Fewer Emissions = Everyone’s a winner (except the fuel companies…they dont win)

We think that this hybrid type of vessel is interesting and the benefits are significant. We hope that more ships like this are built, it could even lead to cruise prices falling by 20%! That would be nice…but somehow doubtful!

This has made us wonder why no major ocean-going cruise line has committed to building a hybrid vessel, when the reduction in fuel usage would surely pay dividends, we can only think that this is because cruise lines the other cruise lines are behind the curve, however as the new Safe Return to Port legislation has meant that there will be lots of new designs, we expect that RCI’s Project Sunshine will incorporate some form of hybrid technology.
Check our blog here, about what we are expecting from Project Sunshine. The cruise industry is likely to wait and see how the commercial ferry operators & Viking River Cruises find operating an alternative fuel source vessel.

Also the lower pollution of these vessels will improve the case for cruising as ‘sustainable tourism’. At we think ‘sustainable tourism’ is set to play an important part in future cruise line practices as the industry grows. We will be developing the concept of sustainable tourism in our next blog. Remember to check our EOSEAS blog & River Cruising Blog to know more about river cruising and green ship technologies!

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EOSEAS – A concept worth thinking about?

This isn’t a new concept, its been around since 2009, but I think it is an interesting one, and one I would like to discuss. The design is by STX Europe and the ship is a five hulled vessel, it’s an environmentally friendly concept which reduces CO2 emissions by 50%.

As a cruise ship it is an interesting vessel , a mix between Radisson Diamond and Oasis of the Seas, with a bit of Windstar thrown in for good luck, I have tested some people on what they think of the ships appearance and results have been missed, my mum saying the sails look terrible, but for me that was the main selling point, it looks so different.

As the above video will point out the vessel will use and LNG engine, I believe this would be the first cruise ship to be powered in such a way, the sails also add to the power. STX says the vessel will have a passenger capacity of 3311 passengers. The cabin design is also interesting, as the video points out, the ship has a ‘Double Skin’ which improves the air circulation, and the vessel has both traditional balconies and communal balconies providing access to the cabin, I don’t believe this would appeal to most cruisers, however I do believe it would appeal to some and would make an interesting feature.

I actually like this ship so much I’m getting a model made of it, I will post some pictures once it is delivered.

It does make me wonder why some of the features have not be carried over to other ships, I am aware a few cruise ships have solar panels to assist, and a lot are increasingly green, but i think a prototype ship like this showcasing the technologies is needed to encourage more lines to turn to green ways of working. The price of oil is expected to continue rising, and cruise lines need to find an alternative before it’s too late! How long will it be till we have Cruise ships powered by LNG? Sails are problematic, as cruise ships need to fist into ports, and bridges could stop the ships with their masts getting in, It is my understanding that EOSEAS could NOT fit into New York.

In the strive for more balcony cabins surely a multi-hull vessel is an interesting development, and will allow for increased stability. The only ‘large’ cruise ship being the former Radisson Diamond, I do believe that this could be a possibility in the near future.

Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas as well as the Celebrity Solstice and sisters are all armed with Solar Panels, as seen below on Allure of the Seas.

For those who are interested Windstar Cruises has posted our previous article on their blog, have a look 😀

Let us know what you think of the EOSEAS Concept. Facebook, Twitter, Email and Comment!

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Links: – EOSEAS Concept on STX Europe’s website – EOSEAS Technical Details