Apologies if this post seems a little rushed, my fingers are almost on fire from typing so furiously!
Well that was 30 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. I’m really glad that this documentary told me that there is pollution in the air by the funnel, similar to standing by a road. Great facts. 10/10. Couldn’t have worked that one out myself.
1. Scrubbers! (not the people…)
It’s no coincidence that this documentary chose to focus on a ship that was built in the year 2000! This documentary conveniently forgot to mention anything about ‘scrubbers’ which are devices that are installed on ships to reduce sulphur emissions (typically by 90%). Cruise lines have invested hundreds of millions of pounds in reducing emissions but this documentary managed to find an older ship which has not yet been updated. The emissions figures provided do not represent cruising as a whole and definitely do not represent the future of cruising.
There are zillions of shipping containers chugging around across the sea, ALL THE TIME. I’ve seen a number of funny tweets suggesting that we should just go full monty and stop all international trade completely. I don’t think we should go that far but it does make a good point, we all pollute in our everyday lives. (Unless you live on a farm and never order anything online or ever go anywhere, EVER).
3. Shore Power
Many cruise ships and many ports across the world have the ability to use ‘shore power’ when docked. The documentary completely failed to mention this, instead insinuating that all cruise ships are ‘running’ 24 hours a day. Shore power allows cruise ships to turn off their diesel engines and effectively ‘plug in’ to the local power. This is a relatively new feature but cruise lines are now beginning to retro fit their cruise ships with this technology.
Its worth remembering that some ports exist solely because of cruise ship tourism and many others survive purely on cruise ship trade. I completely understand how a cruise ship (or two or three) turning up in a small port at once can be overwhelming in terms of foot traffic but the amount of money and tourism that cruise ships bring to local economies was completely overlooked in this documentary.
5. Waste water laws
I am of course massively against anything harmful being dumped into the sea. Water from showers/sinks/toilets is ‘discharged’ into the sea but cruise ships have facilities onboard which break down and disinfect the water first. Cruise lines aren’t just free to dump anything that they want into the sea, they have to follow international, regional and national laws.
Some more things I really don’t understand about this documentary:
- Why did the presenter lady only do 5 days of a 7 day cruise? Did she get kicked off?!
- Why did they look at the funnel with an infra red camera and go ‘ooo pollution’ surely that is just heat?
- They only showed old people onboard! No wonder cruising has a reputation as being a holiday for old people..