Norwegian Cruise Lines - Final Grade: "C"
Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) was founded in 1966 as the Norwegian Caribbean Line. Headquartered in Florida, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. controls eight percent of the worldwide market and, along with Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., is considered one of the “big three” corporations that dominate the U.S. cruise ship market. NCL has a relatively young fleet of cruise ships; all of the company’s 14 ships were built within the last 18 years, and over 70 percent of those have a carrying capacity of more than 3,000 passengers and crew. The Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, and Norwegian Getaway have capacities of over 5,600 passengers and crew, and Norwegian Escape will carry almost 6,000 passengers and crew when it launches in the fall of 2016.
All of NCL’s 14 cruise ships have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of A for the company’s 100 percent sewage treatment score. In total, ten of NCL’s ships have scrubbers installed and two of NCL’s ships are plug-in capable, have scrubbers, and dock at a port with shoreside power giving NCL a grade of C for air pollution reduction. Between 2010 and 2014, four NCL ships traveled to Alaska and Alaskan authorities cited all four with a total of 22 water quality violations, giving Norwegian a 91 percent for water quality compliance in Alaska, or an A.
Norwegian Cruise Lines - Cruise Ship Fleet
|Ship Name||Cruise Line||Total Persons on Board||Destinations||Sewage Treatment||Air Pollution Reduction||Water Quality Compliance||Final Ship Grade|
|Norwegian Star||Norwegian Cruise Lines||3431||Europe, Asia, Australia, India, Mediterranean, Middle East, New Zealand, Southeast Asia||11||05||11||09|
|Norwegian Sun||Norwegian Cruise Lines||2889||Central America, Mexico, U.S. East Coast, Alaska, U.S. West Coast, Canada, South America||11||05||10||09|
|Norwegian Dawn||Norwegian Cruise Lines||3372||Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, U.S. East Coast, South America||11||05||N/A||09|
|Norwegian Epic||Norwegian Cruise Lines||5853||Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Mediterranean, Mexico, Africa||11||05||N/A||09|
|Norwegian Gem||Norwegian Cruise Lines||3495||Canada, Caribbean, U.S. East Coast||11||05||N/A||09|
|Norwegian Jade||Norwegian Cruise Lines||3480||Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, U.S. East Coast||11||05||N/A||09|
|Norwegian Jewel||Norwegian Cruise Lines||3476||Alaska, Canada, Central America, Mexico, U.S. West Coast, South America, U.S. East Coast||11||11||11||11|
|Norwegian Pearl||Norwegian Cruise Lines||3493||Alaska, U.S. West Coast, Caribbean, Central America, U.S. East Coast||11||05||10||09|
|Norwegian Sky||Norwegian Cruise Lines||2938||Caribbean, U.S. East Coast||11||00||N/A||04|
|Norwegian Spirit||Norwegian Cruise Lines||2980||Mediterranean, Africa||11||00||N/A||04|
|Pride of America||Norwegian Cruise Lines||3103||Hawaii||11||05||N/A||09|
|Norwegian Breakaway||Norwegian Cruise Lines||5700||Caribbean, U.S. East Coast||11||11||N/A||11|
|Norwegian Getaway||Norwegian Cruise Lines||5609||Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Europe, Mediterranean, Mexico||11||05||N/A||09|
|Norwegian Escape||Norwegian Cruise Lines||5931||Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, U.S. East Coast||11||08||N/A||10|
Grading methodology for the 2016 Cruise Ship Report Card
Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card ranks 17 major cruise lines and 171 cruise ships -- Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Fathom, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Oceania Cruises, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean Int’l, Seabourn Cruise Line and Silversea Cruises -- according to four environmental criteria: Sewage Treatment, Air Pollution Reduction, Water Quality Compliance and Transparency.
- To determine a cruise line’s Sewage Treatment grade, we compared the number of cruise ships in the cruise line that have installed advanced sewage treatment systems against the total number of ships in the cruise line.
- To determine the Air Pollution Reduction grade for each ship in a cruise line, we graded ships on whether they had installed scrubbers or were capable of plugging into shoreside power. Cruise ships that installed both technologies and docked in ports with shore power received an A, while ships that only installed scrubbers or only installed shore power capability but did not dock at ports with shoreside power were given a C. In addition, ships were given credit if they only utilize low sulfur fuels continuously at levels lower than required by international and U.S. law.
- To determine the Water Quality Compliance grade for ships operating in Alaska, we used notices of violation issued for individual cruise ships to each cruise line by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation from 2010 to 2014. Ships were given an ‘N/A’ if they traveled to Alaska but avoided Alaska’s strong water quality standards by discharging outside of those protected waters.
- To determine the Transparency grade for each cruise line we graded each line based on whether it responded to our 2015 requests for information regarding their environmental practices.
- The grades for each of the four criteria were averaged to calculate the Final Grade for each cruise line.