Cruise Ships are a Climate Catastrophe

The Dirty Truth About Cruises & Their Emissions

Technality
Carbon Footprint

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Photo by Peter Hansen on Unsplash

Cruises boast many advantages over other forms of vacation travel. They’re convenient, entertaining, stress-free, and, if you look in the right place, reasonably priced. But in a world that’s cracking down on corporate and transportation emissions, cruise ships seem to be one sector of travelling that society has turned a blind eye to.

And it’s a sector whose environmental impact is only getting worse.

On paper, cruises seem like a fairly efficient method of mass transportation. Some mega-cruise ships, such as Royal Caribbean’s new Icon of the Seas can carry up to 10,000 people! Surely one cruise ship couldn’t be more polluting than the ~25 planes that would be required to carry the same number of people…

Well, as it turns out, cruises emit more than twice as much CO2 pollution per passenger than a round-trip commercial flight would. The picture gets even worse when you factor in that most cruise passengers likely flew into the port.

And we wouldn’t want to forget cruises’ other pollutants, such as Sulfur Oxide (SOx), Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), and Black Carbon (BC). A large cruise ship releases ~2.2 million cars worth of CO2 emissions annually, as much SOx as 4.5 million cars, 85,000 cars worth of NOx…

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Technality
Carbon Footprint

A young, aspiring writer intrigued by the world - Loves to ramble on about technology. Get notified whenever I publish: https://technality.medium.com/subscribe