Holland America Line - Final Grade: "F"

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 11 cruise ships includes its newest ship the Rotterdam, which has a capacity of more than 3,500 passengers and crew.

All of HAL’s 11 ships have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of C for the company’s 60 percent sewage treatment score. In total, four of Holland’s five plug-in capable ships dock at a port with shoreside power, giving the company a D- in this category. Between 2010 and 2019, seven ships in Holland’s current fleet traveled to Alaska and Alaskan authorities have issued 30 citations for violations of state water pollution standards. However, three of HAL’s ships illegally discharged wastewater without permits in 2018. One of the worst violations committed by HAL was the Westerdam’s illegal discharge of 26,000 gallons of graywater into Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. HAL was fined $17,000 by Alaskan authorities and a mere $250 by the U.S. Coast Guard even after HAL failed to immediately report the discharge to the Coast Guard as required under federal law. All 11 of HAL’s ships have scrubbers installed earning HAL an F for water quality compliance since scrubber use merely converts air pollution into toxic water pollution.

Carnival Corp. and its subsidiaries have been on criminal probation for the last four years as part of a $40 million fine and plea agreement for illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean and obstruction of justice for hiding it from regulators. During its probation, Carnival companies have been violating the terms of the criminal plea agreement by dumping wastewater, oil and plastic into the ocean and polluting our air in excess of federal and state regulations.

Carnival Corp. companies have all received an overall grade of F on this year’s report card due to their ongoing criminal behavior.

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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 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.

MS Zuiderdam Holland America Line 2781 Alaska, Caribbean, Central America, Hawaii, Mexico, South Pacific, U.S. West Coast, Florida 05 07 00 03
MS Volendam Holland America Line 2079 Antarctic, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mediterranean, South America, Florida 05 00 03 02
MS Eurodam Holland America Line 3033 Alaska, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, U.S. West Coast, Florida 05 00 03 02
MS Oosterdam Holland America Line 2776 Alaska, Antarctic, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Florida 05 08 00 03
MS Noordam Holland America Line 2783 Asia, Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, U.S. West Coast 05 08 00 03
MS Nieuw Statendam Holland America Line 3719 Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, New England, Florida 05 00 00 00
MS Nieuw Amsterdam Holland America Line 2980 Alaska, Caribbean, Central America, U.S. West Coast, Florida 05 00 03 02
MS Koningsdam Holland America Line 3686 Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, U.S. West Coast 05 00 00 00
MS Rotterdam Holland America Line Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mediterranean, Florida 05 07 00 03
MS Zaandam Holland America Line 2036 Asia, Africa, Australia, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Middle East, New England, New Zealand, South America, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Florida 05 00 03 02
MS Westerdam Holland America Line 2774 Asia, Antarctic, Europe, Mediterranean, South America, U.S. West Coast, Florida 05 07 00 03

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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