The Friends of Earth organization released their 2012 Cruise Ship Report Card. The report ranks 15 major cruise lines and 148 cruise ships for their air and water pollution footprint. This year Disney Cruise Line became the first cruise line to earn an A grade! Disney Cruise Line scored and overall A- and secured a spot in the most improved category again this year. Over the past two years only four other cruise lines have been able to improve their grades.
Air pollution reduction remains an enormous oversight in the cruise industry. The North American Emission Control Area looks to force cruise lines to upgrade their fleet to reduce emissions. Two-thirds of the lines graded received an F in this category. Disney Cruise Line along with Princess Cruise were the only two lines who improved in the Air Pollution Reduction category. Part of the issues is that the fuel that is used in cruise ships is one of the dirtiest transportation fuels available.
Disney’s four ships have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of A for the company’s 100 percent sewage treatment score. In determining the air pollution reduction grade for each cruise line, only ships that dock at a port that currently has shoreside power (thereby avoiding burning dirty fuel in port) were considered. In total, 73 percent of Disney’s ships that dock at a port with shoreside power are plug-in capable, giving the company a B- in this category (two of the ships Disney has equipped with shoreside power hookups, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, are currently not being sent to ports where shoreside power is offered, so for purposes of determining Disney’s air pollution reduction grade, these ships were only given half credit). None of Disney’s ships traveled to Alaska in 2010, but the Disney Wonder is headed to Alaska in 2013.
This is the second time in as many weeks that Disney Cruise Line has been recognized for it’s environmental efforts.