Crystal Cruises - Final Grade: "F"

Crystal Cruises is a subsidiary of a Japanese shipping company founded in 1998 with its headquarters in California. Crystal operates four cruise ships worldwide—the Crystal Esprit, Crystal Serenity, Crystal Symphony, and its newest ship, Crystal Endeavor. The Serenity and Symphony are designed to carry between 1,500 and 1,700 passengers and crew, the Esprit carries 155 passengers and crew, and the Endeavor will carry 400 passengers and crew. Crystal ships were banned from entering the Port of Monterey, California for 15 years after one of its former ships, the Crystal Harmony, discharged untreated graywater, treated sewage and oily bilge into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in 2003. These discharges were made despite the company’s promise not to discharge any wastewater into the Bay. Crystal Cruises returned to Monterey Bay in the summer of 2018 and 2019. In August 2016 and August 2017, the Crystal Serenity took month-long cruises in the Arctic through the Northwest Passage. While not the first passenger ship to make the journey, it was the largest. Crystal committed to burn cleaner fuel in its engines while on the voyages and it was escorted by an ice breaking support ship.

Currently, none of Crystal’s cruise ships have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of F for the company’s zero percent sewage treatment score. Of Crystal’s four ships, only two, the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Endeavor, are equipped with plug-in capability. Both dock at ports with shoreside power, again earning the company a D in the air pollution reduction category. While both Crystal Serenity and former ship Crystal Esprit traveled to Alaska between 2010 to 2019 the ships did not discharge sewage in Alaskan waters, thereby avoiding Alaska’s strong water quality standards. Crystal has not installed scrubbers on its fleet giving Crystal Cruises an ‘N/A’ for water quality compliance.

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Crystal Cruises - Cruise Ship Fleet

Ship Name Cruise Line Total Persons on Board Destinations Sewage Treatment

Sewage Treatment

Has the cruise line installed the most advanced sewage and wastewater treatment systems available instead of dumping minimally treated sewage directly into the water? In determining 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. Ships with AWTS were downgraded in 2020 since no companies publicly report on the performance of those advanced systems.

Air Pollution Reduction

Air Pollution Reduction

Has the cruise line installed shorepower or adopted cleaner fuel worldwide? In determining the Air Pollution Reduction grade for each ship in a cruise line, ships that dock at a port and plug in to available shoreside power hookups were graded. In addition, ships were given credit if they utilize low sulfur fuels continuously worldwide at levels lower than required by international law. Use of scrubbers is not considered since the scrubbers in use by the cruise industry simply convert air pollution emissions into water pollution through their scrubber wastewater discharges.

Water Quality Compliance

Water Quality Compliance

To what degree did cruise ships violate water pollution standards designed to better protect the Alaskan coast? In determining the Water Quality Compliance grade for cruise ships, we used notices of violation issued for individual cruise ships to each cruise line by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation from 2010 to 2019. In addition, we downgraded ships for their use of scrubbers since scrubbers convert air pollution emissions into water pollution.

Final Ship Grade
Curved Grading Scale
A 100-85 Excellent
B 84-70 Satisfactory
C 69-50 Needs Work
D 49-25 Poor
F 24-0 Unacceptable
N/A Not Graded No Discharge in Alaskan Waters or Scrubber Use

**For the 2021 Cruise Ship Report Card, we graded 18 cruise lines and 202 cruise ships of those 18 lines operating around the world. All cruise ships from each cruise line were included in this report card. Friends of the Earth relied on data gathered from the internet, government sources, the cruise line industry, and other public sources in order to determine the grades assigned to the cruise lines. Friends of the Earth did not independently verify that the technology graded in the report card was installed on the individual cruise ships.

Crystal Serenity Crystal Cruises 1695 Asia, Africa, Alaska, Australia, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Hawaii, Mediterranean, Mexico, Middle East, New England, New Zealand, South America, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, U.S. East Coast, U.S. West Coast 00 07 02
Crystal Esprit Crystal Cruises 155 Mediterranean, Middle East, North Africa, Seychelles 00 00 00
Crystal Endeavor Crystal Cruises 400 Africa, Antarctic, Arctic, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, New England, South America, U.S. East Coast 00 07 02
Crystal Symphony Crystal Cruises 1505 Asia, Australia, Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, New Zealand, Southeast Asia 00 00 00

Grading Methodology For The 2021 Cruise Ship Report Card

Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card ranks 18 major cruise lines and 202 cruise ships — AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, 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, Silversea Cruises, and Virgin Voyages — according to four environmental criteria: Sewage Treatment, Air Pollution Reduction, Water Quality Compliance and Transparency.

    • Sewage Treatment
      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 (AWTS) against the total number of ships in the cruise line. Ships with AWTS were downgraded in 2021 because no companies publicly report on the performance of those advanced systems.
    • Air Pollution Reduction
      To determine the Air Pollution Reduction grade for each ship in a cruise line, ships that dock at a port and plug in to available shoreside power hookups were graded. In addition, ships were given credit if they utilize low sulfur fuels continuously worldwide at levels lower than required by international law. Use of scrubbers is not considered since the significant majority of scrubbers in use by the cruise industry simply convert air pollution emissions into water pollution through their scrubber wastewater discharges.
    • Water Quality Compliance
      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 2019. We also failed ships for their scrubber use since scrubbers convert air pollution emissions into water pollution.
    • Transparency
      To determine the Transparency grade for each cruise line we graded each cruise line based on whether it responded to our 2021 requests for information regarding their environmental practices.
    • Criminal Violations
      All Carnival Corporation companies committed criminal environmental violations between 2017 and 2021.


Grades In Comparison: Report Cards From Previous Years

 

**For the 2021 Cruise Ship Report Card, we graded 18 cruise lines and 202 cruise ships of those 18 lines operating around the world. All cruise ships from each cruise line were included in this report card. Friends of the Earth relied on data gathered from the internet, government sources, the cruise line industry, and other public sources in order to determine the grades assigned to the cruise lines. Friends of the Earth did not independently verify that the technology graded in the report card was installed on the individual cruise ships.

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