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Top 5 Most Environmentally-Friendly Cruise Ships

04 August 2023

Explora I

Cruising has been a popular way to travel since P&O Cruises first introduced a passenger vessel designed for cruising in 1844. And throughout the years, sustainable cruising has become more and more important to both cruise lines and those choosing to travel on them; with reports such as CLIA’s State of the Cruise Industry Outlook putting a spotlight on responsible cruise tourism.

In 1975, the CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) was established to provide authority and support to the global cruise community. Throughout the years they have been striving for more environmentally friendly cruising. Working with over 50 cruise lines including MSC Cruises, Virgin Voyages and Explora Journeys, they have set out certain goals for the industry. These goals include:

One of the latest updates within the industry (laid out by the International Maritime Organization) that cruise lines from around the world will have to abide by, is that all ships must now calculate their Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index, along with their annual Carbon Intensity rating. This mandatory measure is designed to calculate the ships energy efficiency and carbon footprint to ensure that by 2030 the carbon intensity of ships is reduced by 40%.

But which cruise lines are leading the way for sustainable cruising? And which ships within their fleet have utilised LNG, have shoreside power capabilities, offer hybrid power solutions or other advanced sustainable technologies? We’ve created a list of the top 5 most environmentally friendly cruise ships and the steps they’ve taken to pave the way towards a more sustainable future for the cruise industry.

Read on to find out more!

MSC Cruises’ Euribia

MSC Euribia
MSC Euribia

First up on the list is MSC Euribia. Onboard this extraordinary and futuristic ship that set sail in June 2023, there are a number of sustainable measures put in place in an effort to be more environmentally friendly.

Firstly, like many others within the MSC fleet, MSC Euribia is powered by LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). MSC Euribia utilises LNG to try and cut its CO₂ emissions by up to 20%, alongside the amount of nitrogen oxide it produces by up to 85%. Alongside using LNG onboard, MSC Euribia has also taken the following steps towards cruising sustainably:

The MSC Foundation Youth Lab also has activities that are focused around sustainability and how the next generation can be more environmentally friendly.

When MSC Euribia left the shipyard in France towards the naming ceremony in Copenhagen, it even operated the industry’s first ‘net-zero greenhouse gas emissions voyage’. The Executive Chairmen of the the MSC Group, Pierfrancesco Vago stated the following about the sailing:

“This industry-first net zero gas emissions voyage of our latest flagship MSC Euribia heralds another significant step on our decarbonisation journey and demonstrates more than anything the extent of our commitment. We will be proud to share with the entire cruise industry, and the world, the learnings that come for all from this demonstration that net zero emissions cruising is already possible.”

Ambassador Cruise Line’s Ambience

Ambassador's Ambience
Ambassador's Ambience

Second on the list is Ambassador Cruise Line’s Ambience. Offering no-fly cruises from the UK, this cruise ship which set sail in 2022 has a number of sustainable systems in place.

Working with a ship management company, the upgrades they installed were designed to align with Environmental Social Governance in order to reach International Maritime Organization’s highest emission standards within Tier 3. Some of the sustainable measures onboard include:

Seabourn Cruises' Venture

Seabourn Venture
Seabourn Venture

The first ultra-luxury cruise ship on this list that set sail in 2021, Seabourn’s Venture is an intimate ship with a smaller capacity of just over 300 people. Onboard Seabourn Venture, there are several green initiatives put in place to help improve the sustainability of the ship. Some of the sustainable measures onboard include:

Hurtigruten’s Sea Zero Project

VARD design, Sea Zero
VARD design, Sea Zero

It is the goal of Hurtigruten to cut the emissions that their ships emit by 25%. They are striving to do this by not only upgrading their fleet with more environmentally friendly features, but by introducing a ‘zero-emission’ ship. Setting sail in 2030 on a Norwegian cruise, the eco-friendly ship will not only have a 60mWh battery bank to help with energy efficiency (it will use renewable energy onshore to charge up), but it will utilise innovative technologies such as:

Explora Journeys’ Explora I

Explora I
Explora I

Another ultra luxury ship to make this list, Explora I is the first in Explora Journeys’ opulent fleet. LNG powered, it promotes sustainability throughout the vessel by ensuring there are no single-use plastics onboard and by utilising hybrid power generation, alongside catalytic reduction technology- which enables for the reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90%. Some of the other onboard sustainable measures onboard include:

Explora Journeys also supports environmental causes through the MSC Foundation and by striving for sustainable tourism through offering tours that shine a spotlight on local artwork, craftsmanship, gastronomy and culture.

Future Cruise Ships Striving for Sustainability

Cruise ship
Cruise ship

It’s clear that more and more cruise lines are striving for sustainable cruising, through introducing advanced technologies and by following the mandated requirements laid out by the International Maritime Organization.

Alongside these aforementioned cruise ships, there are a variety of future vessels striving to deliver more environmentally friendly cruising, through both similar methods and futuristic technologies that have yet to be introduced. These include:

Book with Iglu Cruise Today

If you want to visit several destinations in style, there’s no better way to do it than cruising. Aboard a cruise ship, you’ll have all the amenities you require at your fingertips and will be able to discover the world with ease.

And with so many cruise lines promoting sustainability both in their current ships and in their future vessels, there’s no better time than now. Discover Iglu Cruise’s extraordinary cruise deals and find a cruise getaway that’s perfect for you!

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