JOEL Katz, Managing Director CLIA Australasia

Environmental action is delivering real results

The cruise industry’s commitment to sustainability has been a key theme in recent years, as CLIA and its cruise line members take measures to protect the environment and benefit the communities we visit.

But as we strive to highlight these initiatives, it’s important that we also demonstrate real achievements along the way. Without tangible progress, our message is hollow.

That’s why I’m pleased CLIA has been able to measure excellent progress in our recent environmental report card. The annual Global Cruise Industry Environmental Technologies and Practices Report shows the industry is making unprecedented advances in the area of sustainability, backed by significant investment.

According to the report, CLIA cruise lines are spending more than $22 billion on ships with new, energy-efficient technologies and cleaner fuels. These include ships powered by liquified natural gas (LNG), which results in much lower emissions. Currently 44% of new-build capacity will utilise LNG fuel, a 60% increase since last year.

Another area of progress has been in the deployment of exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), which reduce emissions like sulphur oxides by up to 98%. More than two-thirds of the cruise industry’s global capacity now utilises EGCS to meet or exceed air emissions requirements, up 17% compared to last year.

Cruise lines are also making progress in shore power, which allows ships to connect to a city’s electricity grid. In locations where renewable energy is provided, this is a good alternative to running engines in port. Almost a third of global capacity can now operate on shore power, up 10% since 2018, with 16 ports worldwide now offering this facility.

Measures to protect our oceans are also gaining traction, including advanced wastewater treatment systems which can treat wastewater to a higher standard than methods used in many coastal cities. Currently 68% of global fleet capacity has such systems, an increase of 13% over 2018, and 100% of new-build cruise ships will feature them.

These advances might not have the same allure as the new restaurants, attractions, and entertainment that cruise lines are offering, but they are vital if the cruise industry is to continue thriving. Reducing our impact on the environment and the communities we visit is not just a business imperative, it’s the right thing to do and our industry is passionately behind this quest.

To help showcase measures like these — and tell the stories of people who help support cruising in communities around the world — CLIA recently released a consumer-oriented magazine called New Wave. It’s an excellent resource and we encourage everyone to read and share it with clients and colleagues. Look for New Wave at

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