It takes a lot of energy to move a ship through water. Transporting cruise ships actually demands more energy than anything else onboard.
We are constantly evolving hull designs to help them perform more efficiently and reduce drag as the ship moves through the water.
Optimizing our itinerary for timing, route, speed and distance traveled.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
The air conditioning on our ships is the most efficient available. We also introduced a key card system which activates lights and air conditioning.
Monitoring and installing high-efficiency appliances onboard ensures they are performing in the most efficient way possible.
Using Energy-Efficient Glass and Lights
Light bulbs on our new ships have been replaced by LED and fluorescent lighting as well as energy-efficient glass.
Millions of microscopic air bubbles coat the hulls of our newest ships, reducing resistance or drag as they move across the ocean.
Installed Solar Panels on newest ships
New ships have been outfitted with solar panels.
Our ships have marine environment window tinting that reduces solar heat coming through and the amount of air conditioning needed to cool.
Re-using engine waste heat
Used to heat water for our showers and galleys.
Adjusting and optimizing ship speed
For increased fuel-efficiency.
Air bubbles created at the front of the ship’s hull reduces resistance or drag as it moves across the ocean. In 2013, we tested a built-in air lubrication system on Celebrity Reflection, and debuted the new technology on Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas in 2014.
We are constantly upgrading the hull designs of our ships to help them perform more efficiently. Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas’ hull, one of the most efficient ever built, was designed to reduce drag as the ship moves through the water and to limit non-indigenous marine species’ ability to attach to it and be transferred to other ecosystems as the ship moves from port to port. A new hull design and new coatings were also introduced on Celebrity Solstice-class ships.
The light bulbs on many of our ships have been replaced by LED and fluorescent lighting, which saves energy by producing the same amount of light per bulb using less wattage and producing less heat that would require more energy to be cooled.
We have installed high-efficiency appliances throughout our ships and evaluate them regularly to ensure they are performing in a way that minimizes their impact on climate change. For example, our newest icemakers use 65 percent less water than the previous machines.
Our entire fleet of ships has window tinting designed for the marine environment. This allows natural light to enter the ship, but reduces both the amount of solar heat that comes through and the amount of air conditioning needed to cool. Tinted windows on our ships also protect our interiors and furnishings from sun damage, thereby reducing waste.
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
Our ships are equipped with the latest and most efficient air-conditioning equipment available. Crewmembers also diligently help reduce air-conditioning energy waste by keeping thermostats in a neutral position when staterooms are not in use, and by ensuring balcony doors are closed. Quantum of the Seas introduced a new stateroom key card system that requires all guests to be present in their rooms for the lights and air conditioning to be activated.
Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants is an essential part of our environmental stewardship strategy.
3 main ways to minimize air pollution
Reducing overall energy use
Investing in emission abatement technologies. Such technologies include Advanced Emission Purification systems, also known as scrubbers, and Selective Catalytic Reactors.
Utilizing alternative fuels or renewable energy sources.
TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 3 and Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas are the first vessels to have all engines use a multi-stream exhaust gas cleaning or Advanced Emissions Purification (AEP) system, designed to treat exhaust gases created by the ship’s generators.
By injecting water into the exhaust stream, the cleaning system removes approximately 98 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions, and 60 to 80 percent of particulate matter. The cleaning system is also designed to treat but not remove nitrogen oxides (NOx). The company’s decision to use scrubbers allow the vessels to continue using current fuels, which contributes to reducing the world’s demand for distillate fuels and satisfy environmental regulations.
Since 2010 and in keeping with our commitment to reducing greenhouse gases, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has participated in the internationally recognized CDP climate change program. For more information, visit CDP’s website at www.cdp.ne
Fresh water on a ship is a precious commodity that we go to great efforts in ensuring it’s used most efficiently. Onboard, fresh water is used for drinking, showers, sinks, toilets, galleys, pools and spas and is obtained in one of two ways:
We use steam desalination or reverse osmosis to convert seawater into fresh potable water. We also produce water through waste heat recovery. We heat diesel engine cooling water and steam from exhaust gas boilers and turn it to steam.
We acquire water from local sources at our ports of call. This is known as “bunkering.”
The condensation from air conditioning systems is collected for such uses as machinery operation and doing laundry. To reduce the use of water-producing equipment that consumes fuel and electricity, we have installed water-reduction technology and appliances such as sink aerators, showerheads, reduced flow dishwashers and low-consumption laundry equipment throughout our fleet. We also ask crew members and guests to help us conserve water whenever possible.
The combined efforts have produced good results. According to reports, our onboard guests use about half the water that the average person uses in the United States.
Advanced Wastewater Purification
Our Advanced Wastewater Purification (AWP) system cleans wastewater generated from our onboard sinks, showers, laundry, galleys, toilets and medical facilities.
This has produced clean water that exceeds ship wastewater discharge standards throughout the world.
Our AWP systems are twice as stringent as U.S. federal standards for in-port wastewater discharge. Quantum of the Seas’ AWP system is one of the first such systems designed to meet future special area requirements for nutrient reduction (i.e. Baltic Sea). Currently, 33 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. ships are equipped with AWP systems. All new ships will have AWPs built in.
Ballast Water Treatment System
Ballast water is seawater brought onto a ship to help stabilize it. Our systems treat ballast water and greatly reduces or eliminates its potential to discharge non-native species into other local environments when the ships move to other ports.
Quantum of the Seas was built with a ballast water treatment system before there were any international requirements to have such technology. Other RCL ships have been retrofitted with ballast water systems as part of ongoing initiatives to include this feature on all of our vessels.
Bilge Water Treatment System
Bilge water is oil-contaminated water collected from engine spaces. We treat bilge water with oily water separators that produce effluent at least three times cleaner than required by international regulations. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) standard for discharging treated bilge water is 15 parts per million. In 2013, RCL ships discharged processed bilge water treated to an average of less than 1.5 parts per million.
Keeping Waste Out Of Landfills
Waste & Chemical Management
With nearly five million guests on our ships each year, it’s easy to generate a lot of waste. We are committed to managing it as efficiently as possible with a keen eye on sustainability.
Keeping Waste Out of Landfills
As part of our aggressive waste management operation, we hand-sort the waste from every trash receptacle on the ship, including those in staterooms. We carefully separate materials that can be recycled, and when our ships arrive at ports in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Tampa or Port Canaveral, Florida the materials are offloaded to the appropriate places. Recyclable clothing and books are donated, and dry waste and internationally regulated food-contacted waste that cannot be directly recycled are sent to a waste-to-energy facility where they are converted into electricity.
Although we produce only very small quantities of hazardous or special waste (as defined by the U.S. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act), their management is still one of our highest priorities.
Our policy strictly forbids disposal of hazardous waste in trash containers, in gray water systems such as sinks and drains, or in black water systems such as toilets. There is a specific and well-defined process for handling hazardous or special waste products.
Only qualified contractors and hazardous waste vendors who are knowledgeable about our strict disposal processes are permitted to handle the hazardous waste generated at our facilities.
The handlers segregate the waste into leak proof containers to be sent to an approved shoreside disposal facility. Certain types of medical waste can be incinerated onboard.
Recycling is the most sustainable option for disposing of hazardous waste, so wherever possible we recycle items such as spent fluorescent bulbs and batteries that would be classified as hazardous if bought ashore as garbage. At destinations that have no approved recycling facility, the ships’ hazardous materials are packaged and stored onboard until they can be transferred and unloaded at ports that do.
Waste and Chemical Management
Through our chemicals management process, we are able to identify the most sustainable and effective chemical products for use throughout the fleet, thereby reducing potential harm to the environment. We list chemicals that have been approved for use on our ships in a centralized master RCL Chemical Purchasing List. This refers to the Chemwatch database, which contains standardized, easily retrievable information about each chemical; its proper handling and use; the manufacturer’s ratings for health, flammability and reactivity; and minimum requirements for personal protective equipment.