SAN FRANCISCO -- Princess Cruises has invested millions of
dollars in upgrading its older vessels and designing new ships so
that they have as little negative impact on the environment as
possible, according to Richard Wade, the line's vice president of
After the line was fined several years ago for illegal dumping,
it instituted a tough environmental program.
The program includes recycling, the installation of
clean-burning incinerators and the use of energy-efficient
water-treatment systems on board.
In addition, the ships have biological sewage- treatment plants
so that nothing harmful is dumped into sea, said Wade, who spoke at
the New Travel Expo.
The line also took such steps as halting the use of balloons and
streamers as part of the shipboard farewell parties and doing away
with skeet-shooting and the hitting of golf balls into the sea.
In cabins, the line stopped using the small plastic containers
of shampoo, conditioner and body lotion that are used once and then
Once upon a time, Princess used such items at a frequency of 7.5
million per year.
The line replaced these with toiletries in cardboard containers
that can be incinerated.
The result of the pro-gram was a dramatic reduction in waste,
down from 80 cubic feet to 10 cubic feet on a typical weeklong
"We realize that our ships can do a lot of damage, so we
developed a policy to be a leader in the travel industry in terms
of minimizing our impact," he said.
In fact, Wade said, "ships are not terribly polluting" when such
programs are in place, compared with trains, planes and
Environmental safeguards are much stricter than they were 10
years ago, when it was standard practice in the industry to dump
garbage over the side of a ship.