10. The Environmental Impact of the Cruise Industry is Alarming
Despite how the cruise pundits like to spin things, you can’t deny there are environmental costs to this controversial industry. The 16 major cruise lines generated over 1 billion gallons of sewage in 2014, much of it raw or poorly treated. One cruise ship can produce 13 million cars worth of CO2 in one day. Sewage, grey water, oily bilge water and air emissions are a concern both while at sea and docked in port. Lax laws and regulations mean ships can dump sewage into international waters three miles offshore from the hot spots they promote as vacation destinations. These behemoth vessels often overwhelm small ports and undermine the very natural beauty and culture they’re trying to sell. There are some signs of improvement, as newer energy-efficient ships boast better waste-treatment technology. But 40% of the fleet plying the waters today are older vessels with 35 year old waste-treatment systems. There’s little transparency provided by various cruise lines on this issue, which just stirs up these murky waters. If you’re at all concerned about responsible travel and the ocean environment, you might want to think twice about cruising.