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Holland America Line - Final Grade: "C"

Holland America Line (HAL) was originally founded in 1873 as the Dutch-America Steamship Company. Headquartered in Washington State, HAL is a subsidiary of Carnival Corp. HAL’s fleet of 14 cruise ships includes its newest ship the Koningsdam which has a capacity of over 4,200 passengers and crew.

Of HAL’s 14 ships, 11 have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of B. In total, four of Holland’s plug-in capable ships dock at a port with shoreside power and 11 have scrubbers installed, giving the company a C+ in this category. Between 2010 and 2014, six ships in Holland’s current fleet traveled to Alaska. Alaska permitted two of the current fleet to discharge in state waters, and Alaskan authorities cited both of those ships with 22 violations of state water pollution standards, giving Holland an 89 percent for water quality compliance in Alaska, or an A-. 

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Holland America Line - Cruise Ship Fleet

Ship Name Cruise Line Total Persons on Board Destinations Sewage Treatment

Sewage Treatment

Has the cruise line installed on its ships 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.

Air Pollution Reduction

Air Pollution Reduction

Has the cruise line 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.

Water Quality Compliance

Water Quality Compliance

To what degree cruise ships violated water pollution standards designed to better protect the Alaskan coast. In determining the Water Quality Compliance grade for cruise ships operating in Alaska, we used the notices of violation issued to each cruise line by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation from 2010 to 2014 for individual cruise ships.

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

**For the 2016 Cruise Ship Report Card, we graded 17 cruise lines and the 171 cruise ships of those 17 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.

Koningsdam Holland America Line 4219 Arctic, Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast 11 08 N/A 10
Nieuw Amsterdam Holland America Line 3035 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Mexico, Alaska, Canada, Central America, South America, U.S. West Coast 11 05 N/A 09
Rotterdam Holland America Line 2004 Europe, Mediterranean, Arctic, Canada, Caribbean, U.S. East Coast 00 05 N/A 01
Zaandam Holland America Line 2047 Alaska, Mexico, U.S. West Coast, South America, Antarctic, Canada, Central America, South Pacific 11 05 11 09
Eurodam Holland America Line 3033 Canada, Caribbean, Mediterranean, U.S. East Coast, Mexico, South America, U.S. West Coast 11 05 N/A 09
Maasdam Holland America Line 1838 Canada, Europe, South America, U.S. East Coast, Alaska, Antarctic, Arctic, Asia, Australia, Mediterranean, New Zealand, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, U.S. West Coast 11 05 N/A 09
Prinsendam Holland America Line 1305 Antarctic, Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, South America, U.S. East Coast, Arctic 00 00 N/A 00
Zuiderdam Holland America Line 2781 Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, U.S. East Coast, Arctic, Mediterranean, South America 11 11 N/A 11
Noordam Holland America Line 2724 Alaska, Australia, Canada, Hawaii, New Zealand, South Pacific, U.S. West Coast 11 08 N/A 10
Veendam Holland America Line 1930 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Canada, Mexico, Central America, U.S. West Coast, Antarctic, Mediterranean, South America 11 10 N/A 11
Volendam Holland America Line 2047 Alaska, Asia, U.S. West Coast, Canada, Southeast Asia 11 00 10 05
Amsterdam Holland America Line 1995 Alaska, Australia, Caribbean, Central America, Southeast Asia, Africa, Asia, Canada, Hawaii, Mexico, South America, South Pacific, U.S. East Coast, U.S. West Coast, India, Mediterranean, Middle East, New Zealand 00 11 N/A 06
Oosterdam Holland America Line 2733 Caribbean, Central America, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast 11 08 N/A 11
Westerdam Holland America Line 2733 Caribbean, Central America, U.S. West Coast, Canada, Mexico, U.S. East Coast, Mediterranean, South Pacific 11 11 N/A 11

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.