Carnival Cruise Lines - Final Grade: "D"

Carnival Cruise Lines launched in March 1972. Headquartered in Florida, Carnival is a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., which controls almost 50 percent of the worldwide cruise ship market. Carnival has 24 ships in its fleet, and all 24 ships have carrying capacities of 3,500 or more passengers and crew. Slightly less than half of Carnival’s ships were built in the last decade, with 12 of those ships having a carrying capacity of 4,400 or more passengers and crew.

Of Carnival’s 24 ships, only four – the Carnival Spirit, Carnival Vista, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Dream – have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of F for the company’s 16 percent sewage treatment score. In recent years, Carnival has made multiple commitments to reduce air pollution. Carnival announced in its 2009 Sustainability Report that it would install shoreside power capability in all ships that home port at the Port of Long Beach by 2014, though to date only three of its plug-in capable ships dock in ports with shoreside power. With the advent of stricter North American Emission Control Area sulfur regulations, Carnival Corporation announced it spent $400 million to develop and install scrubber technology in 22 Carnival ships, and has thus far installed scrubbers in 17 ships. Carnival raised its air pollution reduction grade from 2014’s D to a C-. Between 2010 and 2014, two Carnival ships traveled to Alaska and Alaskan authorities cited one of the ships with a total of four water quality violations, earning Carnival a 95 percent for water quality compliance in Alaska.

Carnival Cruise Lines - Cruise Ship Fleet

Ship Name Total Persons on Board Destinations Sewage Treatment Air Pollution Reduction Water Quality Compliance Final Ship Grade
Carnival Spirit 3610 Australia, South Pacific, New Zealand, Southeast Asia A F A C+
Carnival Conquest 4130 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Mexico F F N/A F
Carnival Sunshine 4042 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Mexico, Canada F C N/A D-
Carnival Dream 5013 Caribbean, Central America, Mexico A C N/A B+
Carnival Ecstasy 2976 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Mexico F C N/A D-
Carnival Elation 2976 Caribbean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast F C N/A D-
Carnival Fantasy 2974 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Mexico F C N/A D-
Carnival Fascination 2976 Caribbean, Central America, Mexico F B N/A D
Carnival Freedom 4130 Caribbean, Central America, Mexico F B N/A D
Carnival Glory 4130 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Mexico F F N/A F
Carnival Imagination 2976 Mexico, U.S. West Coast F A- N/A D+
Carnival Inspiration 2976 Mexico, U.S. West Coast F A N/A C-
Carnival Legend 3054 Canada, U.S. West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii A A N/A A
Carnival Liberty 4134 Caribbean, Mexico F F N/A F
Carnival Miracle 3058 Mexico, Hawaii, U.S. West Coast F A N/A C-
Carnival Paradise 2972 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Mexico F F N/A F
Carnival Pride 3054 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast F C N/A D-
Carnival Sensation 2976 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast F F N/A F
Carnival Splendor 4162 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Mexico F C N/A D-
Carnival Triumph 3854 Caribbean, Mexico F C N/A D-
Carnival Valor 4160 Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, U.S. East Coast F C N/A D-
Carnival Victory 3854 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Mexico F B N/A D
Carnival Breeze 5076 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Mexico F C N/A D-
Carnival Magic 5057 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Central America, Mexico F C N/A D-
Carnival Vista 5406 Caribbean, Central America, Mediterranean, Mexico, U.S. East Coast A A N/A A

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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.