Holland America Line - Final Grade: "C"

Holland America Line (HAL) was originally founded in 1873 as the Dutch-America Steamship Company. Headquartered in Washington State, HAL is a subsidiary of Carnival Corp. HAL’s fleet of 15 cruise ships carries more than 700,000 cruise passengers each year. HAL’s six newest ships have a capacity of over 3,300 passengers and crew, including HAL’s newest ship, the Nieuw Amsterdam.

Of HAL’s 15 ships, 12 have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of B+ for the company’s 80 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, six of Holland’s ships that dock at a port with shoreside power are plug-in capable, giving the company a C- in this category (one of the ships HAL has equipped with shoreside power hookups, the Zuiderdam, is not being sent to a port where shoreside power is offered, so for purposes of determining HAL’s air pollution reduction grade, this ship was only given half credit). Between 2010 and 2013, nine Holland ships traveled to Alaska and Alaskan authorities cited four ships with 24 violations of state water pollution standards, giving Holland a 96 percent for water quality compliance in Alaska, or an A.

Holland America Line - Cruise Ship Fleet

Ship Name Total Persons on Board Destinations Sewage Treatment Air Pollution Reduction Water Quality Compliance Final Ship Grade
Oosterdam 3321 Alaska, U.S. West Coast, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Hawaii, South Pacific A A N/A A
Westerdam 3321 Caribbean, Central America, U.S. West Coast, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, U.S. East Coast A A N/A A
Zuiderdam 3319 Alaska, Caribbean, Central America, U.S. West Coast, Antarctic, Canada, Mexico, U.S. East Coast A C N/A B+
Noordam 3306 Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, U.S. East Coast A A N/A A
Ryndam 2203 Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, U.S. East Coast, Arctic, Central America, Mexico A F B+ C
Statendam 2205 Alaska, Central America, South America, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, South Pacific, U.S. West Coast A F A C+
Veendam 2295 Caribbean, U.S. East Coast, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Central America, Hawaii, U.S. West Coast A A N/A A
Volendam 2452 Alaska, Australia, Asia, U.S. West Coast, Canada, Hawaii, India, South Pacific, Southeast Asia A F A C+
Amsterdam 2387 Alaska, Australia, Caribbean, Central America, Southeast Asia, Africa, Asia, Canada, Hawaii, Mexico, South America, South Pacific, U.S. East Coast, U.S. West Coast F A N/A C-
Zaandam 2452 Alaska, Mexico, U.S. West Coast, South America, Antarctic, Canada, Central America, U.S. East Coast A F A C+
Eurodam 3662 Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, U.S. East Coast, Arctic A F N/A C-
Maasdam 2201 Canada, Caribbean, Europe, South America, U.S. East Coast, Central America A F N/A C-
Prinsendam 1380 Antarctic, Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, South America, U.S. East Coast, Africa, Arctic, Central America F F N/A F
Rotterdam 2426 Europe, Mediterranean, Arctic, India, South Pacific, Southeast Asia F F N/A F
Nieuw Amsterdam 3666 Caribbean, Europe, Mediterranean, U.S. East Coast, Mexico A F N/A C-

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Grading methodology for the 2014 Cruise Ship Report Card

Friends of the Earth’s Cruise Ship Report Card ranks 16 major cruise lines and 167 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, only 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. 
  • To determine the Water Quality Compliance grade for ships operating in Alaska, we used 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 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.
  • To determine the Transparency grade for each cruise line we graded each line based on whether it responded to our 2014 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.