In order to transform the cruise industry into a sustainable future business, the decisive factor is the switch to emission-free drive technologies by the year 2040 at the latest. The innovative ability of the providers can set the tone and pace of the entire shipping industry. more →
NABU Cruise Ranking 2022
Environmental and climate protection still not in the focus of companies
In the tenth year of the cruise ranking, the results once again show that environmental and climate protection are still not at the forefront of cruise companies' ship operations and new construction. Heavy fuel oil continues to be the fuel of choice for the majority of the existing fleets. Only a few truly future-proof projects are in the planning and implementation stages.
The results of the NABU cruise ranking show that the shipping companies are still doing far too little to protect the environment, nature, and the climate. With the ranking, NABU assessed the implemented measures and intentions of cruise operators on the way to a clean climate-neutral cruise based on NABU's roadmap until 2040. Nineteen cruise lines were surveyed, and a total of 17 points were scored. However, first-placed Hurtigruten Norway, the Norwegian mail-ship line, achieved just half of the possible points, with all other companies ranking behind it. Among the top five are the three German companies AIDA, Hapag Lloyd Kreuzfahrten and TUI Cruises, which can be considered pioneers, especially for measures on large and very large ships, provided that the tentative attempts toward greater climate friendliness are implemented on a larger scale soon. However, the results also show that the companies are mainly coming up with fine words and announcements, but so far little has been implemented in concrete terms to improve the situation.
Climate and Biodiversity are in an emergency
Only companies that are phasing out heavy fuel oil today and making zero emissions a standard for all newbuilds can credibly demonstrate that the announcements for a climate-neutral future for cruise shipping are serious.
After all, most of the companies have a climate strategy and are committed to the Paris climate goals. The first shipping companies are using modern technologies such as batteries and fuel cells to supplement the combustion engine. TUI Cruises is planning a ship powered by methanol. In addition, efficiency measures are not yet being used sufficiently. Heavy fuel oil with scrubber or low-sulfur heavy fuel oil dominates the market today, and order books almost exclusively feature LNG ships. Only one shipping company is planning tests with e-fuels. More and more ships are shore power capable, but actual usage is still very low. Hurtigruten Expeditions, Hapag Lloyd Cruises and Ponant score well with heavy oil phase-out and shore power, but the small expedition ships still do not have a better environmental balance per person. This is because there are often far fewer passengers on board the ships in the expedition segment. In addition, they are often traveling in particularly sensitive regions of the world. In addition, an expedition cruise often involves a flight to the other end of the world.
The winner Hurtigruten Norway shows that cruises on fixed routes in waters closer to the coast make the necessary climate and environmental measures more predictable and thus easier to implement. But it also shows that strict regulation helps. Norway has had a strict nitrogen oxide regime since 2007, and certain fjords may only be navigated by zero-emission ships in the future. For us, this means we need stricter regulation for all seas to force a comparable development throughout the industry. This includes, among other things, a general ban on heavy fuel oil, mandatory shore-side electricity, an e-fuels quota as well as stricter efficiency requirements and the large-scale designation of zero- and low-emission areas at sea.
Here you can find the individual points from which the score emerges.Ranking Details
Vision for sustainable cruises in 2040
rankings of the past years
NABU presented its cruise ship ranking 2019. The findings of this year’s evaluation demonstrate that only a small proportion of fleets is becoming cleaner, while the industry by large continues to rely on heavy fuels and fails to employ exhaust technology. more →