Cruise ships are often associated with luxury and total relaxation, but in reality, they represent huge damage to the environment and the health of passengers and port cities.
Cruise ships not only create significant environmental damage but are extremely harmful to health due to their exhaust gases. This is what emerges from the 2016 Environmental Performance Report of cruise ships drawn up by the German NABU.
Let’s start from a terrifying point: at the same distance, cruise ships pollutes as much as one million cars. This is mostly due to the type of combustion oil used by the engine, which contains up to 3,500 times more sulfur than any other vehicle on the ground.
«One cruise ships emits as much particulates as a million cars, so 30 ships pollute as much as all the cars in the UK» (Daniel Rieger, environmentalist)
Even now, 80% of cruise ships sailing in Europe do not use any exhaust gas purification system. Without the technologies to reduce NOx in exhaust gases, such waste burns by emitting huge amounts of pollutants in the air, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and black carbon. These substances, which can travel even for miles, are the cause of soil and water acidification and eutrophication of lakes and coastal areas. In addition, they may also be co-responsible for serious illnesses such as cancer or cardiovascular disease.
The images of brilliant, clean and environmentally friendly cruise ships are therefore really far from reality. Those who decide to spend their holidays in this way contribute to damaging nature and also breathe up to 19 times the fine dust of a busy road.
There are technologies that can reduce ship emissions, but are not used to ensure greater profit.