"The World’s Largest Cruise Ship Is a Climate Liability"

"As massive ships like Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas tack on more energy-intensive amenities, emissions from the cruise industry are climbing."

"When Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas embarks on its first official voyage on Jan. 27, the journey is sure to make waves. The world’s largest cruise ship, the Icon is over 1,000 feet long (360 meters) and weighs in around 250,000 gross registered tons. It boasts 20 different decks; 40 restaurants, bars and lounges; seven pools; six waterslides and a 55-foot waterfall. Royal Caribbean says its boat will usher in “a new era of vacations.”

Maybe so. But the Icon is also a doubling down on a negative aspect of cruising’s current era: greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2022, Bryan Comer, director of the Marine Program at the International Council on Clean Transportation examined the carbon footprint of cruising as compared to a hotel stay plus air travel — since cruises are effectively floating hotels. His analysis found that a person taking a US cruise for 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) on the most efficient cruise line would be responsible for roughly 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms) of CO2, compared with 518 pounds (235 kilograms) for a round-trip flight and a stay in a four-star hotel. In other words: Taking a cruise generates “about double the amount of total greenhouse gas emissions” as flying, Comer says."

Kendra Pierre-Louis reports for Bloomberg Green January 22, 2024.

Source: Bloomberg Green, 01/23/2024