Cruise Ships

Palau Rock Islands

Millions of people take cruises each year and the industry expects roughly eight percent growth per year.  This growing cruise ship industry can create marine conservation challenges.

Some cruise ships are dirty from bow to stern while others are more ocean friendly.  The ships that are dirty can be dirty in myriad ways.  They emit pollution through the stacks as they burn fossil fuels to run their engines and generate power.  These large vessels, sometimes called floating cities, create a variety of waste, and often dump it directly into the oceans — thousands of gallons of human sewage, oily bilge water, hazardous waste, and gray water, which is water from sinks, showers, and laundry.

Luxury ships cruise waters all over the world from Alaska to the Mediterranean, often sensitive ecosystems and near-pristine waters, and restrictions on the range of ocean dumping vary from strict to nonexistent.

But you can help lessen the impact of dirty cruise ships.

3 things you can do to clean up cruise ships:

1. Select an ocean-friendly cruise line if you decide to take a cruise.
2. Get involved with groups working to encourage clean cruising.
3. Tell your friends about this issue.

Other great ways you can make a difference.


Cruise Ship Discharge Assessment Report – EPA
Ethical Destinations – Ethical Traveler

Cruise Ship Pollution – State Environmental Resource Center

Green Cruising – Investigate West

Cruise Control: How Cruise Ships Affect the Marine Environment, Ocean Conservancy
Environmental Impact of Shipping, Wikipedia