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Green Cruising

Costa Cruises
costa serena cruise shipOnboard Policies: Technologically advanced equipment treats and processes waste; environmental audits measure and improve the company's performance.

Conscious Crew: Costa's Environmental Compliance Department -- and a dedicated Environmental Officer aboard each ship -- ensures all regulations are obeyed and handles any issues that arise. Crewmembers receive training focused on raising awareness of the potential impact of onboard practices; those with specific responsibilities related to green cruising also attend higher-level courses.

Special Projects/Awards: Though other ships hold the honor, such as Carnival's Spirit class of vessels, Costa was the first cruise line to be awarded a Green Star notation (in 2005) for its entire fleet by RINA, Italy's Shipping Classification and Certification Agency. Costa is also RINA-certified with BEST 4, Business Excellence Sustainable Task, voluntary certifications in social accountability, environmental protection, and workplace health safety and quality.

Costa supports the World Wildlife Fund (through donations) in three of the most endangered marine regions in the world: the Mediterranean Sea, the Greater Antilles and Northeastern Brazil. The cruise line has also introduced a new aluminum recycling initiative for its ships calling on the Port of Savona.

Green Guests: Costa provides its guests with informative material that highlights its efforts onboard and with the World Wildlife Fund; vouchers are placed in each cabins for guests who choose to make a donation (charged directly to their onboard account) of $3, $5 or $10. Children who participate in Club Squok activities receive special educational opportunities, such as learning about endangered species through gamees and posters.

Cunard Line
Onboard Policies: Special compacters process garbage; the one on Queen Mary 2 is four decks high.

Conscious Crew: The line apprises all crew of strict environmental policies when they join or return to a ship. This training includes the way in which waste is separated, the reasons why waste is separated, and the importance of following and maintaining these strict protocols.

Special Projects/Awards: Cunard only purchases seafood from sustainable sources. The line is also working to reduce air emissions by implementing various fuel efficiency measures, including improved hull coating, low-energy lamps, increased recirculation of heat and more efficient air-conditioning. On the new Queen Elizabeth, twilight sensors will switch deck lighting off at dawn (and on again at dusk).

Green Guests: The Daily Program, distributed to every guest's stateroom, explains the ship's disposal and recycling procedures, though Cunard staff further separates waste in the pantries. During some voyages, the Environmental Officer will appear as a guest on the morning TV show to further discuss and explain what the company does to protect the environment.

Disney Cruise Line
Onboard Policies: Disney Cruise Line follows international federal and state laws for environmental standards. Energy- and water-saving efforts are unique: rerouted excess heat generated in the ships' engine boilers efficiently powers evaporators used in the process of turning sea water into potable water. Plus, up to 33 percent of the water used onboard the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder is reclaimed from condensation in the shipboard air-conditioning units and then reused to wash the decks.

Conscious Crew: Ships have onboard Environmental Officers responsible for overseeing and verifying all environmental systems, procedures and equipment; officers also oversee shipboard recycling, waste minimization and water reclamation efforts, particularly on Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. The officers also supervise shipboard environmental education classes, which highlight waste minimization, separation and recycling efforts, for all new and returning crewmembers.

Special Projects/Awards: The utilization of a new hull coating applied to the Disney Wonder increased fuel efficiency; the coating is completely non-toxic and reduces surface resistance in the water. The Disney Wonder was the first ship in the cruise industry to utilize this innovative coating.

Green Guests: Disney encourages guests -- and crewmembers -- to take part in the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund donation program, which supports conservation efforts, scientific research and habitat protection for wildlife around the globe. To date, the fund has raised over 10 million dollars, supporting more than 650 wildlife projects in 110 countries worldwide. The cruise line also sponsors educational and inspiration programs for adults and children, including Jiminy Cricket's "Environmentality" Quiz Show.

Holland America
Onboard Policies: As with other lines, Holland America purifies wastewater onboard, and all ships have recycling, as well as garbage and hazardous material programs; unneeded items, such as beds and furniture, are donated rather than thrown away. Where Holland America is breaking new ground is in the details. For example, it prints all onboard materials with soy-based inks. Dry cleaning machines that use non-hazardous detergents formulated with soy, banana and orange extracts are replacing standard equipment. And in the medical center, Holland America is implementing digital technology onboard to eliminate the chemicals used by traditional X-ray machines.

Conscious Crew: Stationed on every ship, Environmental Officers provide environmental training and oversee shipboard compliance with environmental requirements.

holland america amsterdam cruise ship seattleSpecial Projects/Awards: While stationed in Seattle, Holland America buys and uses electricity ("shore power") provided by Seattle City Light for Westerdam, Noordam and Oosterdam instead of burning shipboard fuels. This move will reduce both fuel consumption and air emissions. The line is also testing out cutting edge emission reduction technology on its Zaandam. Essentially a modification to the exhaust stack on the ship, a scrubber reduces engine emissions -- using sea water. Holland America received a first place award in the Best Cruise or Ferry Operator category in Virgin Holidays' Responsible Tourism Awards 2008.

Green Guests: Each ship's Environmental Officer offers environmental presentations on every cruise. On cruises to Alaska and Antarctica, enrichment speakers also deliver a variety of environmental and ecological presentations.

Lindblad Expeditions
Onboard Policies: Partnered with the National Geographic Society, Lindblad concentrates on extensive environmental research, with the goal to "positively impact the areas we explore and in which we work." In addition to the usual reuse and recycle programs, Lindblad donates materials such as crockery, linens, lifejackets, Zodiacs, outboard motors, books, field guides and surplus food (past recipients of donations include the American Red Cross and Salvation Army Homeless Youth Shelter).

Conscientious Crew: Linblad encourages its employees to participate in volunteer programs, and employee charity matching programs have donated to organizations including the Andrew Glover Youth Program and Camp Hope. The line often donates ship space for environmental conferences, symposia and fundraising activities.

Special Projects/Awards: Lindblad only uses seafood farmed from sustainable sources. The line asks suppliers where catches were made, and by what method, and purchases and serves species not over-fished or caught through environmentally harmful practices (you won't find shrimp onboard, for example). Lindblad also supports fisheries that emphasize minimizing ecosystem damage. The effectiveness of this program -- called Seafood for Thought -- was confirmed when Lindblad won the 2007 Seafood Champion Award by Seafood Choices Alliance. Lindblad also won the 2007 Tourism for Tomorrow Global Tourism Business Award at the 7th Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.

Lindblad Expeditions started the Galapagos Conservation Fund (GCF) in 1997 as an opportunity for guests to contribute directly to local conservation projects; the fund has raised more than 4 million dollars (as of October 2007). Lindblad has also created a Climate Change Action Plan in conjunction with Clean Air-Cool Planet focused on lessening the company's environmental footprint.

Green Guests: The line gears certain sailings toward environmental education even more than others. In July 2008, Lindblad hosted the Arctic Expedition for Climate Action onboard its National Geographic Endeavour, during which a coalition of individuals -- politicians, journalists, scientists, religions leaders and community activists -- came together to discuss the climate crisis.

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