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Norwegian Cruise Lines - Final Grade: "C-"

Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) was founded in 1966 as the Norwegian Caribbean Line. Headquartered in Florida, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. controls eight percent of the worldwide market and, along with Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., is considered one of the “big three” corporations that dominate the U.S. cruise ship market. NCL has a relatively young fleet of cruise ships; all of the company’s 17 ships were built within the last 20 years, and over 70 percent of those have a carrying capacity of more than 3,000 passengers and crew. The Norwegian Escape carries almost 6,000 passengers and crew and the Norwegian Bliss carries more than 7,700 passengers and crew.

All of NCL’s 17 cruise ships have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of A for the company’s 100 percent sewage treatment score. Five of NCL’s ships are plug-in capable and two dock at a port with shoreside power giving NCL a grade of D- for air pollution reduction. Between 2010 and 2018, five different NCL ships traveled to Alaska and Alaskan authorities cited four ships with a total of 31 water quality violations, giving Norwegian a 93 percent for water quality compliance in Alaska, or an A.

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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 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 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 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 2018 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 2019 Cruise Ship Report Card, we graded 16 cruise lines and the 185 cruise ships of those 16 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 Sun Norwegian Cruise Lines 3400 Alaska, Canada, Central America, Mexico, South America, U.S. East Coast, U.S. West Coast 11 00 11 06
Norwegian Dawn Norwegian Cruise Lines 5000 Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, South America, U.S. East Coast 11 00 N/A 04
Norwegian Encore Norwegian Cruise Lines 6098 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast 11 00 N/A 04
Norwegian Breakaway Norwegian Cruise Lines 5620 Caribbean, Europe, U.S. East Coast 11 00 N/A 04
Norwegian Jade Norwegian Cruise Lines 3843 Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast 11 00 N/A 04
Norwegian Bliss Norwegian Cruise Lines 7767 Alaska, Canada, Central America, Mexico, U.S. East Coast, U.S. West Coast 11 07 11 11
Norwegian Jewel Norwegian Cruise Lines 4230 Asia, Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand, U.S. West Coast 11 07 11 10
Norwegian Joy Norwegian Cruise Lines 5600 Asia 11 04 N/A 08
Norwegian Sky Norwegian Cruise Lines 3756 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast 11 00 N/A 04
Pride of America Norwegian Cruise Lines 3113 Hawaii 11 00 N/A 04
Norwegian Pearl Norwegian Cruise Lines 3493 Alaska, Caribbean, Central America, South America, U.S. East Coast, U.S. West Coast 11 00 11 05
Norwegian Escape Norwegian Cruise Lines 6936 Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, U.S. East Coast 11 00 N/A 04
Norwegian Epic Norwegian Cruise Lines 5830 Africa, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast 11 04 N/A 08
Norwegian Star Norwegian Cruise Lines 4100 Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mexico, South America 11 04 11 09
Norwegian Spirit Norwegian Cruise Lines 3701 Africa, Caribbean, Mediterranean 11 00 N/A 04
Norwegian Gem Norwegian Cruise Lines 4807 Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast 11 00 N/A 04
Norwegian Getaway Norwegian Cruise Lines 6536 Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast 11 00 N/A 04

Grading Methodology For The 2019 Cruise Ship Report Card

Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card ranks 16 major cruise lines and 185 cruise ships — 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 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, ships that dock at a port and plug in to available shoreside power hookups were graded. 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. Use of scrubbers was no longer 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.

. 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 2018. 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 or if they didn’t travel to Alaska at all.

. To determine the Transparency grade for each cruise line we graded each line based on whether it responded to our 2019 requests for information regarding their environmental practices.

. All seven Carnival Corp. companies graded on the report card committed criminal environmental violations in 2017 and 2018 while on federal criminal probation in the US for violations dating back to 2005.

. The grades for each of the four criteria were averaged to calculate the Final Grade for each cruise line. Carnival Corp. companies have all received an overall F grade on this year’s report card due to their ongoing criminal behavior from every line under the Carnival brand while on federal probation in the US.

Grades In Comparison: Report Cards From Previous Years 

 

**For the 2019 Cruise Ship Report Card, we graded 16 cruise lines and the 185 cruise ships of those 16 lines operating around the world. All ocean-going cruise ships over 100 passengers and crew 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.