4 Fantastic Green Sailing Eco-Friendly Cruises

Finding ways to become eco-friendly has quickly become a goal for many individuals and businesses around the world. Cruise lines are no exception to this movement. Cruise ships by nature are large floating pollution producers; however, several cruise lines such as P and O Cruises and Royal Caribbean have taken steps to decrease their carbon footprint on the world.

  • Costa Cruise Line

This Italian cruise line was the first to become environmentally friendly. Costa Cruise Line has taken intricate steps to ensure that all of their ships have comprehensive plans in place in order to dramatically cut back on energy use and excess garbage. They even teach their staff and crew how to be eco-friendly through educational programs focusing on ways to keep the environment clean. Due to their ground-breaking efforts, in 2005 they were awarded with the Green Star notation environmental award.

  • Disney Cruise Lines

Disney has begun a major initiative to make their cruise ships more eco-friendly. The ships now feature more efficient lighting and cooling systems. The company has also started recycling cooking oil into fuel for large machinery. A recycling plan is also in place for all materials constructed out of cardboard, aluminum and plastic. The efforts of this plan has greatly decreased the amount of unnecessary waste.

  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

In order to reduce the amount of sewage which goes into the water, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines has converted their waste management system into a water purification system. They also have dramatically reduced garbage by eliminating plastic utensils. All recyclable materials are delivered to a recycling plant, thereby further reducing the amount sent to landfills. And to decrease energy usage during the winter months, the cruise line turns off one engine on each ship, which lessens the need for fossil fuels.

  • Norwegian Cruise Lines

Besides the usual steps toward creating eco-friendly ships, Norwegian Cruise Lines has taken additional steps to stream-line this process. They utilize an eco-ballast system. This advanced filtration system removes all wastes and toxins from any water which leaves the ship, ensuring there are no pollutants being deposited freely into the environment. The cruise line also helps other industries by donating used cooking oil to farms for use as fuel. This

Anyone who wishes to venture out in a relaxing cruise, but still be environmentally friendly, should consider doing so through one of these companies. Their efforts to provide quality vacations while decrease the impact on the Earth are commendable.

Middle East and North African tourism to return stronger than before

Participants at World Travel market event on the Future of Tourism in the Middle East and North Africa were unanimous in agreeing that tourism in the region, which has for long lived with uncertainty and a number of external shocks, will return from current challenges stronger than before.

“The on-going changes in the Middle East and North Africa bring enormous opportunities,” said UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, opening the event. “Rule of law and democracy will empower local communities, opening the door for these to be better engaged in the process of tourism development.

There will surely be a more transparent business environment, increased support for smaller businesses, as well as stronger regional integration and cooperation.”

Participants recalled that countries in the region were facing what many others had previously experienced and benefited from – the process of transition into a democratic state.

Jordan’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Nayef Al Fayez, highlighted the on-going investment projects in the country, as well as the efforts to ensure that the benefits of tourism spill down to the community level. “Communities are the first to be affected when tourism demand falls, and this is why we need to support them,” he said.

Mehdi Houas, the Minister of Tourism of Tunisia, stressed that the country is looking to position its culture, history, and people at the center of tourism development and promotion.

For Egypt, where tourism numbers this year are expected to have fallen by between 20 and 25 percent compared to 2010, the Minister of Tourism, Mounir Fakhri Abdel-Nour, said the country was “committed to tourism as a sector which contributes 12 percent of national GDP.”

Misperception was highlighted as one of the most pressing challenges, with participants stressing that the Middle East should not be seen as one block but rather as different countries with different realities and challenges.

Close cooperation between the public and private sectors was pointed out as one of the keys for success in the destinations of the Emirates and one of the ways to reinforce the growth of tourism in the region.

“The Middle East is rich in culture and people; the sector has been expanding in terms of infrastructure and air capacity. If we work together, there is an incredible future for the region,” said Guy Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of the Jumeirah Group in Dubai.