Norwegian Cruise Lines - Final Grade: "D-"

Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) was founded in 1966 as the Norwegian Caribbean Line. Headquartered in Florida, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is the third largest cruise company in the world behind Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Group. NCL has a relatively young fleet of cruise ships; all of the company’s 17 ships were built within the last 22 years, and 16 of its 17 ships have a carrying capacity of more than 3,000 passengers and crew. The Norwegian Encore carries more than 6,000 passengers and crew.

All of NCL’s 17 cruise ships have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of C for the company’s 60 percent sewage treatment score. Six of NCL’s ships are plug-in capable and three dock at a port with shoreside power giving NCL a grade of F for air pollution reduction. Between 2010 and 2019, six different NCL ships traveled to Alaska and Alaskan authorities cited five ships with a total of 33 water quality violations. Eleven of NCL’s 17 ships have scrubbers installed earning NCL an F for water quality compliance since scrubber use merely converts air pollution into toxic water pollution.

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Norwegian Cruise Lines - 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.

Norwegian Breakaway Norwegian Cruise Lines 5620 Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Mediterranean, New England, Louisiana, New York 05 00 00 00
Norwegian Joy Norwegian Cruise Lines 5704 Alaska, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, New England, U.S. West Coast 05 04 00 02
Norwegian Epic Norwegian Cruise Lines 5824 Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, New York 05 04 04
Norwegian Gem Norwegian Cruise Lines 3464 Caribbean, Central America, Mediterranean, New York 05 00 00 00
Norwegian Getaway Norwegian Cruise Lines 5609 Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, New York 05 00 01
Norwegian Jade Norwegian Cruise Lines 4627 Africa, Mediterranean, Middle East 05 00 00 00
Norwegian Sun Norwegian Cruise Lines 3306 Alaska, Caribbean 05 00 03 02
Norwegian Bliss Norwegian Cruise Lines 5720 Alaska, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, New England, U.S. West Coast, Florida, New York 05 07 03 05
Norwegian Jewel Norwegian Cruise Lines 3445 Alaska, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, U.S. West Coast 05 07 03 05
Norwegian Pearl Norwegian Cruise Lines 3493 Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mediterranean, New England, Florida 05 00 03 02
Pride of America Norwegian Cruise Lines 3113 Hawaii 05 00 00 00
Norwegian Spirit Norwegian Cruise Lines 2930 Africa, Alaska, Australia, Hawaii, Mediterranean, Middle East, New Zealand 05 00 01
Norwegian Sky Norwegian Cruise Lines 3349 Caribbean, Central America, Florida 05 00 01
Norwegian Star Norwegian Cruise Lines 3379 Antarctic, Europe, Mediterranean, South America 05 04 11 06
Norwegian Encore Norwegian Cruise Lines 6098 Alaska, Caribbean, Central America, U.S. West Coast 05 07 00 03
Norwegian Dawn Norwegian Cruise Lines 3372 Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, Florida, New York 05 00 01
Norwegian Escape Norwegian Cruise Lines 5999 Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, New England, New York 05 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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