Disney Cruise Line - Final Grade: "C"
Disney Cruise Line was founded by the Walt Disney Company in 1995. Headquartered in Florida, Disney’s current cruise ship fleet consists of five large ships built between 1998 and 2022. Disney’s older ships have carrying capacities of approximately 3,400 passengers and crew and 5,500 passengers and crew. Their newest ship, the Disney Wish, has the largest carrying capacity of approximately 7,110 passengers and crew.
Disney’s five ships have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of C for the company’s 60 percent sewage treatment score. In total, three of Disney’s ships that dock at a port with shoreside power are plug-in capable. Three Disney ships are equipped with shoreside power hookups—the Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, and Disney Wonder. The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy are currently not being sent to ports where shoreside power is offered. Additionally, four of Disney’s ships burn fuel with a 0.1% sulfur content worldwide which is lower than what is required internationally, earning the company a C+ in the air pollution reduction category. The Disney Wish burns liquified natural gas fuel which unfortunately emits significantly more life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions over the short-term than low sulfur fuel. The Disney Wonder traveled to Alaska between 2011 to 2021 and received no violations of state water pollution standards. In addition, Disney does not utilize scrubbers on its fleet. Together these factors give Disney an A for water quality compliance.
Disney is one of the cruise lines that responded to our inquiries about its environmental practices with specifics, awarding them an A for transparency.
Despite being at the top of our report card Disney was downgraded a letter grade again this year for its development of a cruise ship port at Lighthouse Point in the Bahamas, which is opposed by community groups in the Bahamas for the destruction it would cause to this ecologically rich area that has Marine Protected Area status.
Disney Cruise Line - Cruise Ship Fleet
Grading Methodology For The 2022 Cruise Ship Report Card
Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card ranks 18 major cruise lines and 213 cruise ships — AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa 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, Viking Cruises, and Virgin Voyages — 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 (AWTS) against the total number of ships in the cruise line. Ships with AWTS have been downgraded from As to Cs since 2020 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 2021. We also failed ships for their scrubber use since scrubbers convert air pollution emissions into water pollution.
To determine the Transparency grade for each cruise line we graded each cruise line based on whether it responded to our 2022 requests for information regarding their environmental practices. Companies that responded with specifics were given As, those that didn’t received failing grades.
Grades In Comparison: Report Cards From Previous Years
2022 Cruise Ship Report Card
2021 Cruise Ship Report Card
2020 Cruise Ship Report Card
2019 Cruise Ship Report Card
2016 Cruise Ship Report Card
2014 Cruise Ship Report Card
2013 Cruise Ship Report Card
2012 Cruise Ship Report Card
2010 Cruise Ship Report Card
2009 Cruise Ship Report Card
**For the 2022 Cruise Ship Report Card, we graded 18 cruise lines and 213 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.