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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cruise ships' poor pollution ratings

Perhaps the visits of cruise ships (one pictured in Wellington) are not the blessing the town bean-counters keep on saying.

Two cruise ships docking in Wellington this week have been given "failed" grades for their air-pollution standards by an international environment group.

Data on the Voyager of the Seas and Seabourn Odyssey are included in the latest Friends of the Earth's Cruise Ship Report Card that ranks 16 major cruise lines and 167 cruise ships.

Two other liners scheduled to dock here are rated failures for not just air pollution but for sewage systems that basically pour the stuff into the open sea.

FOE produces ratings on four environmental criteria--sewage treatment, air-pollution, water quality, and transparency.

"With ships that can carry up to 7000 passengers and crew, these floating cities pollute the air we breathe and the water we use," the California-based group said.

So how do they rate our visitors?

Voyager of the Seas scores C-minus, for failing on air pollution.  It's owner, Royal Caribbean, is rated D.

Seabourn Odyssey scores C-minus, too, while owner Seabourn Cruise Line gets a D.

The problem with both these vessels is that their dirty diesel engines keep running, to keep electricity flowing while they are in dock.

On February 25, the Crystal Serenity will arrive, complete with its double-F rating. Its owner, Crystal Cruises, scores F for absolutely everything.

Glamour ship Queen Mary 2, arriving in March, scores just C-minus, while its operator, Cunard, gets a D.

Each day a cruise ship is at sea, says the group, it emits more sulphur dioxide than 13 million cars, along with an awful lot of soot.

And a ship carrying 3000 people generates 568,000 litres of sewage a week.

Want to look at the full report card?  HERE IT IS

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