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Princess Cruises - Final Grade: "C"

Princess Cruises was founded in 1965 and was the first of today’s modern cruise lines to focus on the leisure travel market. Headquartered in California, Princess is a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., which controls almost 50 percent of the worldwide cruise ship market, and Princess currently operates 18 cruise ships.

Of the 18 Princess cruise ships, 13 have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of B for the company’s 72 percent sewage treatment score. In determining the air pollution reduction grade, only one Princess ship has neither shore power capability nor scrubbers installed and eight Princess ships have both technologies installed in addition to docking in ports with available shoreside power giving Princess a B+ for air pollution reduction. Notably, Princess has invested approximately $7 million to bring shoreside electrical technology to Juneau, Alaska, Seattle, Washington, Vancouver, British Columbia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego in California and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Between 2010 and 2014, eleven Princess ships traveled to Alaska and Alaskan authorities cited seven ships with 69 violations of state water pollution standards, giving Princess an 88 percent and an A- for water quality compliance in Alaska. 

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Princess Cruises - 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.

Majestic Princess Princess Cruises 4906 Asia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Southeast Asia A B- N/A C-
Royal Princess Princess Cruises 4800 Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, U.S. East Coast, Africa, Mexico 11 05 N/A 09
Regal Princess Princess Cruises 4906 Europe, U.S. East Coast, Arctic 11 10 N/A 11
Pacific Princess Princess Cruises 1047 Europe, South America, Australia, Caribbean, Central America, Hawaii, Mediterranean, New Zealand, South Pacific, U.S. East Coast, Africa, Arctic, Asia, India, Mexico, Middle East, Southeast Asia, U.S. West Coast 11 00 11 04
Caribbean Princess Princess Cruises 4342 Canada, Caribbean, Arctic, Central America, Europe, Mexico, U.S. East Coast, Mediterranean 00 11 N/A 04
Crown Princess Princess Cruises 4282 Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Canada, Central America, Hawaii, Mediterranean, Mexico, South America, South Pacific, U.S. East Coast, U.S. West Coast, Antarctic, Arctic 00 11 11 04
Emerald Princess Princess Cruises 4292 Caribbean, Canada, Arctic, Central America, Europe, Mediterranean, Mexico, Africa, Antarctic, Australia, Hawaii, India, New Zealand, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, U.S. West Coast 00 11 N/A 04
Ruby Princess Princess Cruises 4284 Canada, Mexico, Alaska, U.S. West Coast 00 11 N/A 04
Island Princess Princess Cruises 3114 Alaska, Central America, Canada, Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, U.S. West Coast, Antarctic, South America 11 11 11 11
Sea Princess Princess Cruises 2926 Australia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Hawaii, New Zealand, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, U.S. East Coast, Africa, Arctic, Asia, Canada, India, Middle East, South America 11 10 11 11
Sapphire Princess Princess Cruises 3778 Southeast Asia, Asia 11 05 09 09
Grand Princess Princess Cruises 3756 Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, U.S. West Coast 11 11 10 11
Diamond Princess Princess Cruises 3806 Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, South Pacific 11 05 11 10
Dawn Princess Princess Cruises 2922 Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Asia, Hawaii 11 05 11 10
Golden Princess Princess Cruises 3736 Alaska, Hawaii, South Pacific, Canada, U.S. West Coast, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia 11 11 11 11
Star Princess Princess Cruises 3700 Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, U.S. West Coast 11 11 00 09
Coral Princess Princess Cruises 2895 Alaska, Central America, Canada, Caribbean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast, U.S. West Coast, South America 11 10 11 11
Sun Princess Princess Cruises 2934 Australia, New Zealand, Asia, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Alaska, Europe, Hawaii, U.S. West Coast 11 10 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.