Is the Cruise Industry Set for Changes Post COVID-19?

cruise ship

Credit: Piqsels

The newly formed Global Cruise Activist Network launched its website and convened a virtual press conference recently.

Representatives including, environmental groups, port communities, and cruise ship crime organizations across the world joined forces to demand that the cruise industry not return to business-as-usual post-COVID-19. Approximately 100 members of the network attended the conference, which included representations from news organizations from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Italy, Norway, Cayman Islands, and Bahamas.

The network deliberated on many issues involving the cruise industry. Concerns included shipboard crime against women and children, abuse of crew members, environmental crimes involving air and water pollution, over-tourism, and exploitation of port communities.

The group has several members from the International Cruise Victims organization, and it also includes a former cruise employee who helps coordinate a labour rights group supporting crew members still stranded at sea.

The network brought a global set of guidelines that is called the “Principles of Responsible Cruise Tourism” which it wants the cruise line to follow before cruise ships start sailing again. The principles include:

  • Self-determination: Respect the universal right to self-determination of each homeport and ports of call, which includes nearby Indigenous communities.
  • Labour: Align with the strictest labour and environmental standards in the world to create a safe, just, and equitable environment for workers onboard and shore.
  • Climate change: Stop contributing to climate change by publicly committing to achieving zero emissions across the entire global fleet.
  • Air and water pollution: Stop polluting the air and water by leading the development of a universal shore power system, ceasing the use of scrubbers, and stopping the dumping of all waste near shore.

The other principles include addressing the cruise industry’s ongoing history of exploitive business practices; installing continuous air and water monitoring equipment, and publicly disclose the performance and support third-party monitoring and more.

The new guidelines set by the network aims to reduce the growing concerns of the cruise sector and reduce the environmental damage from sailing ships.

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