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Cruise Ships Embrace Alternative Energy for Greener Travel

Cruise ships lead the pack amongst the world’s top polluters in the transportation industry. If you’re a green-minded person who’s been dreaming of a tropical cruise this winter, but don’t want to lend your support to an industry that is a major polluter, you can reconsider because even cruise lines are trying to go green and do their part to reducing the world’s carbon emissions and overall waste pollution.

Major cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess are investing in alternative engines that reduce the output of emissions during operation. General Electric’s Alternative Engine technology is being added to Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Ships, not to adapt the existing fleet, but to ensure that the alternative technology in used in the development of all new ships. General Electric’s greener technology will ensure that nitrous oxide emissions are reduced by 80% and that slufur oxide emissions are reduced by 98%.

Another element of cruise ship operation that results in pollution is that they must be kept running even when docked. So more cruise lines are making an effort to modify their engines so that they can be turned off, with power being maintained in the ship with a plug-in to a hydro electric power plant. Unfortunately, this type of docking station is only available in one port (Juneau, Alaska), so in order for this technology to really take flight, a $4.5 million investment will need to be made at many major cruise ship ports to provide this source of alternative energy to docked ships.

In addition to providing a guilt-free travel experience to voyageurs on cruise ships, the conversion to alternative energy will also make for a more relaxing experience for those on board because the engine sounds will be much quieter.

Via: Cruise Ship Forum

Image from Flickr Creative Commons user chippenziedeutch with a Creative Commons license

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