Norwegian Cruise Lines - Final Grade: "C"
Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) was founded in 1966 as the Norwegian Caribbean Line. Headquartered in Florida, NCL controls eight percent of the worldwide market and, along with Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited, 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 13 ships were built within the last 16 years, and over 70 percent of those have a carrying capacity of more than 3,000 passengers and crew. NCL’s three largest ships, the Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, and Norwegian Getaway have capacities of over 5,600 passengers and crew.
All of NCL’s 13 cruise ships have installed advanced sewage treatment systems, resulting in a grade of A for the company’s 100 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, four of NCL’s ships that dock at a port with shoreside power are plug-in capable, giving the company a D- in this category (three of the ships HAL has equipped with shoreside power hookups, the Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, and Norwegian Getaway are not being sent to ports where shoreside power is offered, so for purposes of determining NCL’s air pollution reduction grade, these ships were only given half credit.). Between 2010 and 2013, four NCL ships traveled to Alaska and Alaskan authorities cited all four with a total of 16 water quality violations, giving Norwegian a 91 percent for water quality compliance in Alaska, or an A.
Norwegian Cruise Lines - Cruise Ship Fleet
|Ship Name||Total Persons on Board||Destinations||Sewage Treatment||Air Pollution Reduction||Water Quality Compliance||Final Ship Grade|
|Norwegian Star||3413||U.S. West Coast, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mexico, U.S. East Coast, Arctic||A||A||A||A|
|Norwegian Sun||2852||Central America, Mexico, U.S. East Coast, Alaska, Caribbean, U.S. West Coast, Canada||A||F||A-||C|
|Norwegian Dawn||3290||Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, U.S. East Coast||A||F||N/A||C-|
|Norwegian Epic||5936||Caribbean, Europe, U.S. East Coast, Mediterranean, Mexico||A||C||N/A||B+|
|Norwegian Gem||3899||Canada, Caribbean, U.S. East Coast||A||F||N/A||C-|
|Norwegian Jade||3891||Europe, Mediterranean||A||F||N/A||C-|
|Norwegian Jewel||3927||Alaska, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, U.S. West Coast||A||F||A||C+|
|Norwegian Pearl||3891||Alaska, U.S. West Coast, Caribbean, Central America, Canada, Mexico, U.S. East Coast||A||F||A-||C|
|Norwegian Sky||2918||Caribbean, U.S. East Coast||A||F||N/A||C-|
|Norwegian Spirit||2967||Europe, Mediterranean||A||F||N/A||C-|
|Pride of America||3084||Hawaii||A||F||N/A||C-|
|Norwegian Breakaway||5700||Caribbean, U.S. East Coast||A||C||N/A||B+|
|Norwegian Getaway||5609||Caribbean, U.S. East Coast||A||C||N/A||B+|
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.