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Saving the Waves: Cruising’s Green Campaigns


Every year, cruise lines share in Earth Day celebrations, because many have taken leadership roles in environmental stewardship. Royal Caribbean Cruises and its sister brand, Celebrity Cruises, are among the cruise lines that take environmental protection seriously: in fact, Royal Caribbean’s Save the Waves program for environmental protection was established when the cruise line was founded in 1969.  Through Save the Waves, the cruise line treats all sewage produced by its ships with marine sanitation devices certified by the U.S. Coast Guard.  No trash, waste products or toxic chemicals are ever sent overboard.

In addition, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity ships are closely monitored and inspected by independent environmental auditors.  The auditors make sure the cruise lines are meeting their own strict environmental policies, which actually exceed all applicable U.S. laws.  As a result, Royal Caribbean has received several environmental awards, including the Excellence in Environmental Engineering Award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.

Royal Caribbean also reaches out to help support marine conservation organizations.  The cruise line’s Ocean Fund provides grants for efforts to restore and maintain a healthy marine environment, minimize the impact of human activity on the environment and promote respect for marine life.  Since the fund was established in 1996, it has awarded almost $10 million in grants to more than 60 nonprofit organizations.  Recent grant recipients include the Blue Ocean Institute, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science.

Many cruise lines also make small adjustments that probably go unnoticed by their guests, but make a difference to the environment.  For example, cruise ships may alter their speeds to improve fuel efficiency; apply subtle tints to windows to reduce the need for air conditioning; or use specially marked waste receptacles to encourage guests and crew to recycle glass, aluminum and plastics.

Richard Fain, chair and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises, notes that cruise lines have a compelling reason to protect the environment and preserve the oceans of the world.  "We derive our livelihood from them," he said.  "If we don’t protect them, we most assuredly will lose our jobs, our way of life and our very quality of life.  We are not about to take that chance."

Talk with us at Cruise Holidays, to learn how you can benefit from cruising’s green efforts on the deep blue sea.