Photo by Jordon
If you’re thinking of planning a vacation on a cruise ship, consider this information from Friends of the Earth:
Cruise ships – the largest of which carry more than 5,000 passengers and crew – are floating cities that produce enormous volumes of waste. ONE large cruise ship on a one week voyage is estimated to generate:
- 210,000 gallons of human sewage,
- 1 million gallons of gray water (water from sinks, baths, showers, laundry, and galleys),
- 25,000 gallons of oily bilge water,
- Up to 11,550 gallons of sewage sludge, and
- More than 130 gallons of hazardous wastes.
Most of this waste is dumped directly into the ocean, some treated, some not. In addition, luxury liners spew a range of pollutants into the air.
I don’t want to rain on your parade cruise dreams, but I think this is information people should know. I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t even thought about this side of the story. I’ve been on two cruises. (I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to the world for my poop that is floating around in the ocean somewhere). I went on one brief weekend cruise to the Bahamas and one week-long trek through the Caribbean. I would classify both as “OK” vacations, but they were definitely not my favorite. In general, I like staying someplace long enough to get a good taste of the culture and people, and if I decide that I DON’T want to stay and want to move on to somewhere else, I like to have that freedom to choose. Cruise ships don’t allow for that. Cruising is also way too “touristy” for me, for lack of a better term. Sure they have phenomenal ice, food and towel sculptures (That’s right – towels. Sculpted to look like animals, birds and people), but I think that could be sacrificed in the interest of saving the world.
All that being said, if cruising is your “thing,” maybe there are “greener” options available. I’ll have to see what I can find and get back with you.