Silversea Cruises - Final Grade: "D"

Silversea Cruises was founded in 1994. Headquartered in Florida, Silversea describes itself as a luxury cruise line that operates seven cruise ships worldwide. The Silversea cruise ship fleet consists of smaller ships with carrying capacities between 170 and 910 passengers and crew.

Of Silversea’s seven ships, only the Silver Shadow has installed an advanced sewage treatment system, resulting in a grade of F for the company’s 14 percent sewage treatment score. In determining the air pollution reduction grade for each cruise line, only ships that dock at a port that currently has shoreside power (thereby avoiding burning dirty fuel in port) were considered. In total, none of Silversea’s ships that dock at a port with shoreside power are plug-in capable, giving the company an F in this category. While Silversea operated one ship, the Silver Shadow, in Alaska from 2010 to 2012, it chose to discharge sewage from those ships outside of Alaskan waters in 2011 and 2012, thereby avoiding Alaska’s strong water quality standards, however, in 2010 it did not receive any violations giving Silversea a 100 percent for water quality compliance in Alaska

Silversea Cruises - Cruise Ship Fleet

Ship Name Total Persons on Board Destinations Sewage Treatment Air Pollution Reduction Water Quality Compliance Final Ship Grade
Silver Shadow 677 Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Canada, Central America, Hawaii, South America, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, U.S. East Coast, U.S. West Coast A F A C+
Silver Explorer 249 Antarctic, Central America, Europe, South America, Arctic, Caribbean, Alaska, Asia, Canada, New Zealand, South Pacific F F N/A F
Silver Galapagos 170 South America F F N/A F
Silver Cloud 508 Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mediterranean, Mexico, South America, U.S. East Coast, Arctic F F N/A F
Silver Spirit 916 Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mediterranean, Mexico, South America, U.S. East Coast F F N/A F
Silver Whisper 677 Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, South America, U.S. East Coast, Asia, Arctic, Australia, Hawaii, India, Mediterranean, Mexico, Middle East, New Zealand, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, U.S. West Coast F F N/A F
Silver Wind 508 Africa, Europe, Mediterranean, Asia, Middle East, Southeast Asia F F N/A F

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Grading methodology for the 2013 Cruise Ship Report Card

Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card ranks 15 major cruise lines and 148 cruise ships -- Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, 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 three environmental criteria: Sewage Treatment, Air Pollution Reduction, and Water Quality Compliance.

  • 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, only ships that dock at a port and plug in to available shoreside power hookups were graded.
  • To determine the Water Quality Compliance grade for ships operating in Alaska, we used 2010 notices of violation issued for individual cruise ships to each cruise line by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. 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.
  • The grades for each of the criteria were averaged to calculate the Final Grade for each cruise line.