Cruise ships are a major source of air pollution which causes and/or contributes to a wide range of serious health problems such as respiratory ailments, lung disease, cancer and premature deaths. The pollutants from ship engines exhaust gases include sulfer oxides(SOx) as well as non-combustible particulate matter and black carbon. A video of a Carnival cruise ship, the Carnival Victory (shown below), belching bunker fuel fumes in port in Nassau a couple of months ago was widely distributed via PTZtv. It should have been an embarrasing spectacle by a cruise line on probation here in Miami for widespread water and air pollution.

Heavy fuel oil (HFO), sometimes referred to as bunker fuel, has historically been a low cost favorite of cruise ships. HFO has tar-like consistency which results from the residue of crude oil distillation  HFO is contaminated with several different compounds including sulfur and nitrogen, which makes HFO emissions far more toxic compared to low sulfur fuels.

Bunker Fuel – the “Dirtest Fuel of All”

Forbes reports that the German watchdog Nabu surveyed 77 cruise ships and found that all but one used toxic heavy fuel oil that the group described as “dirtiest of all fuels.”

Bunker fuel cannot be used without incombustible particles flying all over the place – not unlike burning a tire – with the residue burrowing deep into the mucous membranes of your lungs. It should be considered to be a public nuisance and banned as such. No one reading this article would burn bunker fuel in their house, or subject their neighbors to this toxic pollutant.  Bunker fuel is the nastiest and most toxic fuel you can use. But this fuel is the cornerstone of the cruise industry.

The IMO’s 0.5% Cap

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted a sulfur cap to reduce the dangerous effects of HFO. The IMO will theoretically enforce the cap as of  January 1, 2020 when shipping companies will be required to switch from heavy fuel oil to 0.5 percent low-sulfur fuel, compared with the current 3.5 percent.  (Some Emission Control Areas have stricter caps).  But the IMO permitted a loophole requested by the shipping industry. A cruise line can continue to use the lower cost but high-sulfur fuel, as long as they install an exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS), (i.e., a “scrubber”) on each ship to maintain emissions at the same levels as low-sulfur fuel.

A scrubber works by spraying alkaline water (usually seawater) into the vessel’s exhaust stacks, which is designed to reduce reduce carbon, sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions, and non-combustible particles from bunker fuel from the ship’s engine exhaust gases.

Money, Money, Money

The cruise industry is highly profitable. It is preoccupied with keeping its costs artificially low. The cruise business model avoids taxes, underpays crew members and provides them with few benefits, and externalizes virtually all costs of doing business. Avoiding higher fuel costs is a fundamental part of its business, irrespective of the damage caused to the environment and injury to its passengers, crew members and shore-side communities.

Around half of the cruise lines have decided to use scrubbers to comply with the new IMO rules. In other words, they have made a decision to refuse to incur the higher cost of low-sulfer fuel.

Cruise Lines Dodge Environmental Regulations with “Emission Cheat” Systems 

Many prople call scrubbers “emissions cheat” systems, which are designed to avoid the shipping industry having to buy cleaner, more expensive fuel. The Guardian newspaper called them an  “environmental dodge.” As explained by Bloomberg Businessweek, in an article published yesterday, scrubbers allow ship owners to continue buying cheaper high-sulfur fuel.  In the most used system, known as “open loop,” the waste water is discharged into the ocean. The more expensive closed-loop systems require storage of waste water to be discharged into a facility on shore, according to the Guardian. Bloomberg Businessweek points out that about half of the 268 cruise ships operated by members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reportedly have installed scrubbers.  “Scrubbers effectively turn air pollution into water pollution,” says Kendra Ulrich, of environmental group Stand.earth.

Toxic Scrubber Sludge

The pollutants which scrubbers remove from the air are called “scrubber sludge” or simply “sludge,” an accurate description of the toxic mix of metals, such as lead, nickel and zinc, as well as hydrocarbons, sulfur, and nitrogen compounds which have been sprayed from the ship’s emission stacks.  The scrubbing also removes non-combustible particles such as soot, incompletely burned oil, and ash. The water used to spray the emission stacks become acidic and is dumped back into the ocean in the open loop systems. The sludge residue must be collected during closed loop operations and stored aboard the ship. The cruise companies are then required to dispose of the sludge at suitable shoreside facilities. Cruise lines are also requireed to maintain logs documenting the storage and disposal of the washwater residue.  But some cruise lines are suspected of dumping the sludge at sea.

Turning Air Pollution Into Water Pollution

Travel Weekly writes that “questions are being raised about where all the pollution that’s being removed from cruise ship exhaust is ending up.” Travel Weekly mentioned a case where it appears that a Princess Cruises cruise ship piped the scrubber sludge overboard while in the port of Ketchican last July. Port employees observed discharges coming from the Star Princess cruise ship in Ketchikan, Alaska and took photographs which showed “darkened splotches in the water. One shows a patch of lumpy black material floating near a piling.”

Princess Cruises, which is under probation for wide spread pollution and repeated lies to the Coast Guard and other agencies, denied any wrongdoing, stating: “Our experts believe what was viewed and photographed is most likely sea foam discolored by natural microorganisms such as algae in the seawater, which is commonly experienced in northern climates in the summer season.”

Some Ports Ban Open Loop Scrubbers

According to Travel Weekly, nearly a dozen environmental groups petitioned the IMO to prohibit the use of scrubbers. They argued that the technology isn’t always reliable, “citing an audit of the Carnival fleet from 2017-18 that turned up 30 examples of scrubbers that either weren’t turned on or had unexpectedly shut down in areas where sulfur emissions were already capped.” These environmental groups have roundly criticized the cruise industry’s plans to continue to burn high-sulfur fuel and its use of scrubbers, and have asked regulators to adopt the use of low-sulfur fuel as the only allowable method of complying with the new IMO regulations. Several international ports (but not all) have outlawed the use of scrubbers, which has alarmed cruise lines that have invested heavily in the use of scrubbers.

Carnival’s Advanced Air Quality is an Emission Cheat System

Carnival Corporation has embarked on a public relations campaign with a pro-scrubber website. Carnival argues that scrubbers, which it calls “Advanced Air Quality Systems,” are an effective way to reduce sulfur dioxide and other pollutants.

But trusting Carnival and its related brands, like Princess and Holland America Line (HAL)(which was just fined yesterday for discharging untreated grey water into Glacier Bay National Park) to comply with environmental laws seems perilous. Carnival brands have a long history of illegally discharging oily water, chemicals, bilge water, grey water, chemicals, and food mixed with plastic items, trash and garbage from numerous ships around the world, even while on probation. Given the tendency of Carnival owned ships to dump waste products overboard, rather than incurring the expenses of collecting, storing and properly disposing the pollutants ashore, the dumping of scrubber sludge seems to be a certainty.

Other cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, also have a history of pollution. They have both pleaded guilty to multiple environmental felonies. Royal Caribbean was seemingly the first cruise line where engineers perfected secret bypass valves (later widely used on Princess cruise ships) which permitted ship employees to bypass the oily water seperators and discharge the oil directly overboard. Royal Caribbean’s use of these illegal devices eventually ended only after it was caught repeatedly violating its probation for pollution and the DOJ fined it a total of $27,000,000.

Royal Caribbean’s Advanced Emission Purification is Another Emission Cheat System

Royal Caribbean calls scrubbers “Advanced Emission Purification” systems which have been installed in the original build of of its largest ships like the Harmony of the Seas and the Symphony of the Seas and retrofitted on many ships in its fleet over the last several years.  Watch the videos produced by Royal Caribbean “Cruising Into The Future: Royal Caribbean Initiates Advanced Emissions Purification Plans” and “Sustainability At Sea.” Royal Caribben states that between 500 and 1,500 tons of seawater and additives are sprayed into each of two emission stacks on a typical ship per hour to try and clean the emission of pollutants. Sulfur, heavy metals, and other toxic wastes are either washed overboard or collected as sludge after many thousands of tons or water are sprayed in the stacks of these ships which are still burning high-sulfur fuel.

Smoke or Water-Vapor? Either Way Cruise Ships Create Scrubber Sludge 

Earlier this week, a reader of this blog videotaped the Symphony of the Seas leaving the port of St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. He posted the video on YouTube (below) with the caption “Royal Caribbean Smoke Show.” The video is sure to create the usual debate every time I post a video of a cruise ship burning high-sulfer bunker fuel bellowing smoke from its funnels. Defenders of the polluting cruise industry (and an ocassional engineer or two employed on cruise ships) will inevitably comment that the videos do not show engine gases but condensed water vapor from the scrubber operations.

My thought is that even if what we are seeing from the Symphony of the Seas is water vapor and not smoke, the ship is creating vast quantities of toxic sludge which is routinely discharged as waste water.

In an industry well known for taking environmental shortcuts to save money, Carnival and Royal Caribbean cannot be trusted not to dump the toxic sludge into the oceans.

Have a comment or question? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

A panel of legal and journalism professionals selected this article, from more than 400 entries, as the second runner-up in the LexBlog Excellence Awards category “Best Explanatory Post.”

We suggest reading:

The Gurdian Thousands of Ships Could Dump Pollutants at Sea to Avoid Dirty Fuel Ban.

Bloomberg Businessweek Cruise Ship Companies Are Finding It Hard to Quit Carbon.

September 29, 2019 Update: The Independent Thousands of Ships Fitted with ‘Cheat Devices’ to Divert Poisonous Pollution Into Sea. 

Video and photo credit:

Video of Carnival Victory – PTZtv; photo of scrubber sludge – City of Ketchikan, Alaska; video of Symphony of the Seas – Red Oaks YouTube.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), from 2003 to around 2013, engineers on the Caribbean Princess, Star Princess, Grand Princess, Coral Princess and Golden Princess by-passed the oil-water separators (OWS) and released oily substances into the oceans. These employees of Princess Cruises used a number of techniques, including the so-called “magic pipes” and running clean water past the sensors of the OWS to prevent the system from triggering an alarm. The engineers lied and falsified oil logs on the ships.

On the Caribbean Princess, once a whistleblower reported the environmental violations, the senior ship engineers dismantled the bypass pipe and instructed crew members to lie.

These illegal practices on the Princess cruise ships took place over nearly a ten year period of time.

Why didn’t the DOJ arrest a single one of the engineers engaged in the illegal practices?  I have received many inquiries from people asking why no one, including cruise executives, will serve jail time?

A couple of years ago, Captain reported that “two high-ranking ship engineers were sentenced to prison … Star Princess after being convicted of using a so-called “magic pipe” to illegally dump oil sludge and wastewater overboard from their ship and then attempting to cover it up.” The sentencing involved the chief engineer and second engineer of the Ocean Hope, a Greek operated cargo ship, who were convicted of conspiracy, violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, obstruction of justice and witness tampering by a federal jury in Greenville, North Carolina.

Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden of the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division stated: “This case shows that polluting the ocean with oily waste and sludge will land you in jail . . .”

Cruden was also involved in the original Princess Cruises investigation, where the misconduct involved more ships for a far longer period of time.

So why the difference?  Princess Cruises and parent company Carnival Corporation clearly wanted to put this debacle behind them, so they apparently cut a deal which eliminated the possibility that the DOJ would be eliciting sworn testimony from any of the shipboard employees. The DOJ press release indicated that Princess engineers on the Caribbean Princess believed that the shore-side superintendent, like the chief engineer on the ship overseeing the cover-up, suffered from the braccino corto complex (an Italian expression for a cheap person whose arms are too short to reach his wallet).

So the engineers’ testimony could have implicated Princess Cruises’ shore-side supervisors. And once its was proven that an audit of the vessel expenses showed that there were no costs for offloading and legally disposing the oily waste, the only issue is how many people in Princess Cruises’ and Carnival’s headquarters in Santa Clarita and Miami were involved in the conspiracy. The cruise executives wanted to maintain plausible deniability which would not be possible if their senior engineers were going to face prosecution and began pointing their fingers at the corporate offices. So, in my view, Carnival Corporation and Princess Cruises negotiated a settlement with a relatively small fine, which avoided their greatest concern that the DOJ’s investigation would reveal the senior shipboard officers’ criminal conduct and, in turn, expose the shoreside managers and executives to criminal liability.

The DOJ touted that the case involved the “the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution.” But the reality is that polluting the oceans will not land you in jail if you are an engineer on a cruise ship who can implicate the owners and executives in the pollution, lies and cover-up.

Of course, we now know that Carnival Corporation did not learn anything after being caught with its widespread pollution and lying and being fined $40,000,000 several years ago. The Carnival-owned ships continued to illegally discharge grey water, sewage and plastics from their ships, from Glacier Bay in Alaska to the water of the Bahamas, according to findings submitted to the Court by the Court Appointed Monitor (CAM). All Princess Cruises and Carnival Corporation had to do was just pay another fine, a paltry $20,000,000, from its tax-free bounty of $3,200,000,000 in profits from last year alone.

Without jail time and personal liability of the engineers and executives, the Carnival-owned ships will continue illegally discharging oil, sewage, plastics, and grey water. Carnival has an endless source of money that can fund $20,000,000 fines, just like you or me handing out $5 bills.

Have a thought?  Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Other articles about this issue:

Princess Cruises Pollution Cover-Up: Are the Greedy Cruise Executives Untouchable?

Princess Cruises Pollution Cover-Up: What Did the Executives Know?

Deliberate Dumping, Cover-Up and Lies: DOJ Fines Princess Cruises $40,000,000.

Photo credit: Star Princess – Jim Walker

Yesterday a lawyer from Seattle Washington filed a motion on behalf of three victims of Carnival’s pollution seeking status under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA).  Seattle attorney Knoll Lowney argues that his three clients, all affected by Princess Cruise Line’s and its parent Carnival Corporation’s pollution, want more transparency in the case.

The victims’ motion to amend was filed just four days before the Court will consider whether to approve a proposed resolution of the U.S Government’s motion to revoke Carnival’s probation based on six new charges that Carnival violated its probation. (The Court agreed with the parties to move the hearing up several weeks). As the Miami Herald point out, the six violations are: falsifying records, communicating with the U.S. Coast Guard through a back channel, failing to give sufficient authority to the company’s environmental compliance officer,preparing its ships ahead of visits by a court-appointed monitor, and dumping plastic items into Bahamian waters. (Details about the sixth incident have not been disclosed).

The proposed resolution reached between the U.S. Government and Carnival is currently unknown. The public will first learn of the proposed terms and conditions of the proposed resolution at the hearing scheduled for June 3rd, when the Court will decide whether to accept the deal reached out of court.

Motion to Intervene

The three victims are identified as Fortini Duncombe, who is the co-founder of a Bahamas Environmental group called “reEarth;” Eric Forrer, who is a fisherman working in Alaska; and Theodore Thoma, who is the head of a environmental group called “Responsible Cruising in Alaska.” (None of these individuals are seeking monetary damages). Letters were all filed yesterday in support of their motion to intervene outlining their first hand experiences caused by Carnival’s pollution. They represent the interests of victims in communities across the United States, from Florida to Alaska, and from California to Maine which rely on a clean environment for their livelihood and recreation.

Mr. Duncombe represents the sentiments of the citizens of the Bahamas which received the brunt of the illegal discharges by Carnival into its waters when cruise ships dumped plastics, bottle caps, wood, aluminum and other garbage which had been mixed together with food items discharged via food chutes.

You can read the motion to intervene and the letters from the victims here.

The victims’ motion to intervene explains that there were no victims present or heard at the proceedings which resulting in the original plea agreement several years ago between the US Government and Carnival.

Lowry argues that the absence of victims affected by the massive pollution scheme contributed to a weak and ineffectual compromise. The soft original sentence failed to bring about meaningful change in Carnival’s recidivist corporate culture and has ultimately resulted in continued criminal conduct by Carnival. The weak original plea agreement reached between the U.S. Government and Carnival, Lowry points out, is “aptly demonstrated by Carnival’s ongoing criminal violations of environmental laws, reflected in the reports of the Court Appointed Monitor (“CAM”), [and] the Government’s efforts to revoke Carnival’s probation . . . ”

The victims’ lawyer also asks that the Court should not consider another compromise between the U.S. Government and Carnival without “meaningful participation by the victims of Carnival’s environmental crimes . . .  [because] to do so would violate the letter and spirit of the CVRA and, equally importantly, the lack of transparency could cast a shadow over the legitimacy of these proceedings.”

Another Secret Sweet Deal?

This latter argument seems particularly appropriate considering it was the U.S. Government and Carnival which agreed to the first plea agreement which imposed just a modest fine of $40,000,000 which is a pittace given Carnival’s enormous profits. For example, Carnival collected net profits of well over $3,000,000,000 (billion) last year alone. There also was no accountability of the executives or senior managers in the cruise company’s widespread and ongoing pollution scheme. In my assessment, another deal struck in private (so far) between these two parties has the appearance of yet another sweet deal for what this Court has already labelled a “recidivist criminal.”

Letter From Concerned Citizens

Yesterday, Judge Patricia Seitz filed into the court record copies of letters which she received from concerned citizens regarding the highly publicized pollution case.

As we have reported before, in 2016, Princess pleaded guilty to widespread pollution over a period of eight years involving at least five Carnival-owned cruise ships, as well as conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The Court ordered Carnival Corporation and its subsidiary cruise brands to probation for a period of five years during which its operations have been monitored by court appointed experts to keep the cruise giant from continuing to pollute the environment.

The Court Appointed Monitor (CAM) submitted reports to the Court indicating that Carnival-owned cruise ships have continued to illegally make discharges, including grey water in Glacier Bay, Alaska and vast quantities of plastics, aluminum, and non-food items in the waters of the Bahamas. At a hearing in April,  Judge Seitz expressed her frustration with Carnival’s ongoing pollution. She reprimanded Carnival Corp.’s chairman, Micky Arison, and its president Arnold Donald, neither of whom were present at the hearing, stating that she regretted not being able to send the executives to a few days in detention. She stated that “the people at the top are treating this as a gnat. . .”

Judge Seitz stated previously that she will rule whether Carnival Corp.’s behavior warrants additional fines and/or other punishment. She characterized her previous sanction of $40,000,000 as a “drop in the bucket.”  She also  threatened to block the company from docking its one hundred cruise ships at U.S. ports.

The Miami Herald published these comments by the Court in a widely read series of articles which were published across the United States and internationally.  Since that time, concerned citizens and environmental groups have written to the Court. The majority of people have expressed support for serious sanctions to be entered against the Carnival cruise brands. These letters (with personal information redacted) have now been made public by the Court.

Two non-profits organizations, including Heal The Ocean, wrote letters to Judge Seitz expressing alarm regarding Carnival’s ongoing pollution and asked the Court to fine Carnival and bar its ships from U.S. ports.

One person who sailed on a Princess cruise ship to Alaska in September of 2018 complained that the Emerald Princess discharged a “yellowish plume of liquid” while the ship was docked in Skagway for at least 20 minutes.  She enclosed photographs of the discharge which appeared to be partially treated sewage.

One person asked the judge to carry through with her threatened punishment of Carnival for their “despicable mess of dumping grey water into Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park.”

Another concerned person expressed her feelings that “we need to do our best to take care of this planet . . . and we have to make a stand at some point against those who knowingly pollute it.”

Two future cruisers, however, who were more concerned that their upcoming cruises may be disrupted by a Court sanction, asked for the Court to be lenient with Carnival, with one person writing “Carnival asserted that there had been a misunderstanding. I’m sure their explanations are sincere . . .”

You can read the letters filed in court here.

Next Up – Hearing on Monday

The next hearing will take place this Monday, June 3rd. The Court has ordered all members of the Carnival Corporation and PLC Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, including Micky Arison, Arnold Donald, and Stuart Subotnick, to appear at the hearing at the federal courthouse.

Will Judge Seitz Do Anything Significant Regarding Carnival’s Ongoing Pollution?

In an informal poll which I posted here a month ago, two-thirds of those responding chose sanctions of $250,000,000 or more, or jail time for the executives, or both, to punish Carnival Corp. for its ongoing pollution and violation of its terms of probation.

There were several hundred people participating in the poll, most of who have very strong feelings about the issue of Carnival’s ongoing pollution and what the Court should do about it.

If you are inclined to voice your concerns to the Court, please write to her at the following address:

Re:  United States of America v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd., Case No.: 16-20897.

Senior Judge Patricia A. Seitz

Willie D. Ferguson Jr. United States Courthouse

400 North Miami Avenue

Courtroom 11-4

Miami, Florida 33128

Her official email address is: seitz@flsd.uscourts.gov 

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Carnival Food Chutes: top – Court Appointed Monitor; bottom – anonymous Carnival employee.

Court Filing From the Court Appointed Monitor

 

newspaper in the Bahamas recently covered the news regarding Miami federal district judge Patricia Seitz threatening to temporarily ban Carnival-owned cruise ships from calling on U.S. ports.

The Tribune newspaper in Nassau points out that Carnival is building what it describes as a $100-million mega cruise port in Grand Bahama, and the company “promised it would not hurt the island’s fragile environment.” Carnival is reportedly leasing 329 acres of Bahamian land in an area known as Sharp Rock in East Grand Bahama, which the newspaper describes as an “eco-sensitive zone.” The Tribune writes that Carnival executive Giora Israel (Carnival Corp.’s Senior Vice President of Global Port & Destination Development) said the company is allegedly “big on protecting the environment.” She promised that “Carnival would not harm the environment during the construction phase, and would preserve 110 acres as a natural wetland.”

The Bahamian newspaper raised the issue, in so many words, whether Carnival can be trusted at this point? The newspaper discussed several examples of Carnival’s recent environmental crimes, including dumping gray water into Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park.  This involved the Carnival owned Westerdam, operated by Holland America Line, which illegally dumped 26,000 gallons of gray water into Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska in September of  2018 and thereafter failed to immediately report the discharge.

While the Bahamian newspaper refers to the fouling of the pristine waters of Alaska, amazingly it does not mention the fact that Carnival was also polluting the beautiful waters of the Bahamas.

As the Miami Herald reported yesterday, cruise ships owned by Carnival Corporation illegally dumped more than 500,000 gallons of treated sewage and 11,000 gallons of food waste mixed with plastics, aluminum and other physical objects into the ocean during its first year on probation. The majority of the illegal dumping took place in the waters of the Bahamas.

The Tribune vaguely refers to the Carnival Elation which was discharging plastics and other non-food items overboard in December of 2018.  Although the reports submitted by the parties do not mention the location of this illegal discharge, the fact of the matter is that the Carnival Elation was regularly sailing from Jacksonville to numerous locations in the Bahamas, including Nassau, Freeport and Princess Cay in December of 2018. It continues to do so today.

As covered by my previous article, Carnival pled guilty to pollution and is currently being monitored by a Third Party Auditor (TPA) which submits reports to the Court.

The Government’s Quarterly Status Report, dated April 8, 2019, stresses that the Carnival Elation “knowingly and deliberately” discharged plastic items from the ship, which it characterized as “one of the most significant violations of probation.”  It constitutes a violation of MARPOL Annex V and potential felony violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.  The government auditor on the Elation informed the Carnival environmental officer that “plastic and other non-food items were mixed with the vessel’s food waste and that the garbage was not being properly segregated.” However, Carnival reportedly took no remedial measures and subsequently discharged the waste with the knowledge that it contained plastic waste. (This is undisputed by Carnival).

The Government explained to the Court that plastic pollution is likely the “most widespread pollution event adversely impacting the marine environment. The adverse impact is extensive and tragic. Virtually all species of marine wildlife, many of which are threatened or endangered, including seabirds, cetaceans (e.g., whales and dolphins), and sea turtles ingest plastic and then die of starvation because it clogs their stomachs. Plastic pollution in the ocean is of epidemic proportion and has the potential to threaten the health of the oceans, coral reefs, food safety and tourism.”

The photograph above to the left shows a “food waste chute” on a Carnival ship with clumps of food mixed with plastic, silverware and bottle caps. The photo was sent to this office by a Carnival crew member who wishes to remain anonymous. The photo shows how food and non-food items are routinely mixed together and then thrown into the chute to be dumped into the water.

The Government also referred to several other Carnival owned ships which discharged plastic and other non-food items overboard. These governmental filings state that the items included “plastic straws, plastic knives, rubber bands, plastic corn on the cob holders, broken plastic cups, paper clips, aluminum bottle caps, aluminum foil wrappers,” and other items. The Government believes that Carnival’s problems remain “ongoing” and “systemic” in nature.

The filings by Princess and the Court Appointed Monitor (CAM) also discussed another incident in November 2018 when the Carnival Conquest unlawfully discharged approximately 66,000 gallons of ballast water in the waters of the Bahamas.  (It does not appear that the Bahamian newspaper realized that this also took place in the Bahamas). In this incident, a Carnival bridge officer reportedly offered to fabricate documents in order to cover up the illegality of the discharge by changing the time and location, so that it would appear to have been in an area where such discharges were allowed. The CAM informed the Court that the unlawful discharge occurred in “a prohibited area where the defendant has previously made other illegal discharges from multiple vessels.”

CAM’s First Annual Report includes other references to illegal discharges in Bahamian waters:

  • “Between June 4-27, 2017, the Carnival Elation discharged approximately 1,270 of treated sewage and 22 cubic meters of food waste in Bahamian Archipelagic waters in violation of MARPOL . . . “
  • “. . .  on June 15, 2017,  the Carnival Conquest, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Magic, and Carnival Vista made prohibited discharges of sewage and food waste in Bahamian Archipelagic waters.”
  • “. . . on November 27, 2017, the Carnival Vista discharged cleaning chemicals in Bahamian Archipelagic waters . . .”

The Court so far has permitted the filing of only CAM’s report regarding Carnival’s first year of pollution. The 2018-2019 report undoubtedly shows additional illegal discharges and pollution violations.

The Bahamas is a flag state where many hundreds of cruise ships are registered. The majority of cruise ships owned by Royal Caribbean fly the flag of the Bahamas in order to avoid U.S. income taxes as well as wage/labor law and safety regulations of the U.S.  The Bahamas essentially has no mechanism to enforce international pollution laws when ships flying the flag of the Bahamas pollute the waters of the Bahamas. Carnival flags at least five of its ships in the Bahamas, including the Carnival Fascination, Carnival Imagination, Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Sensation and Carnival Triumph. (The majority of the Carnival owned ship such as the Carnival Elation and the Carnival Conquest mentioned above are registered in Panama, so that Carnival can avoid U.S. taxes, labor laws and safety regulations. Like the Bahamas, Panama has little interest in enforcing international pollution regulations such as MARPOL).

As Carnival continues to develop the cruise port in Grand Bahama, the Bahamas should realize that it is dealing with what the federal district judge in Miami presiding over the pollution case called a “recidivist criminal” which has engaged in world-wide pollution and repeatedly lied about it.

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Read:

First Annual Report of the Court Appointed Monitor (2017-2018) – covering the first year of operations after Carnival was placed on probation.

Miami Herald Media Company’s Motion to Intervene and To Request Filing of Quarterly Reports for Period.

The Miami Herald reporters, Taylor Dolven and Caitlin Ostroff, who are covering this issue analyzed numerous incidents during Carnival’s first year of probation after its 2016 conviction for dumping oily waste in the ocean. You can read their summary here.

April 22, 2019 Update: The Tribune newspaper in Nassau covered Carnival’s dumping in the Bahamas in Carnival’s Catalogue Of Ocean Dumpings.

April 23, 2019 Update: The Nassau Tribune covered the story: Carnival Dumped Sewage at Sea.

April 24, 2019 Update: (Bahamian Tourism Minister) Nassau Guardian: D’Aguilar: New laws possible for cruise waste dumping.

Tribune: Give Us Answers: Carnival Facing Grilling On Shock Ocean Dumping.

Photo credit: Food waste chute on Carnival Cruise Line ship – anonymous crew member.

The delivery of Carnival’s newest cruise ship, the Carnival Horizon, which is currently in dry dock in Italy, is at risk of being delayed due to concerns that the water in the surrounding basin has been polluted during the painting of the ship’s hull.

The Carnival cruise ship is currently in dry dock in the Italian port of Monfalcone for the third time because of a problem with the application with the paint on the ship’s hull.

Carnival Horizon Monfalcone ItalyCarnival and the ship builder do not want this information leaked to the international press.

The Carnival Horizon just arrived in Monfalcone from the ship builder Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera on March 14th for its hull to be prepared for painting. An article in the Italian newspaper Il Piccolo reports that paint fragments from the Carnival Horizon ended up in the basin surrounding the dry-docked Carnival ship.

The Il Piccolo article mentions the concerns of a “polluting event at sea.” Painting operations have been suspended as of the date of the article.  The Harbor Master ‘s Office and the Public Prosecutor ‘s Office have obtained samplings of the contaminated waters. The Harbor Office also reportedly arranged for the positioning of absorbing panels to prevent further water pollution.

The Horizon was originally scheduled to go to a dry dock in Cadiz, Spain in preparation for its inaugural cruise from Barcelona on April 2, 2018; however, Carnival elected not to accept the responsibility and liability by accepting the cruise ship which was leaching paint particles.

The ship builder, Fincantieri, previously moved a ship in construction out of its dry dock to make space for the Horizon and therefore ended up polluting it’s own waters.

The shipyard touts that the silicone painting coating is a “more environmentally friendly process,” which seems belied by the news from Italy.

In the last year, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been requested to investigate the use of certain silicone-based foul release systems and other hull coatings.

The Carnival Horizon is a sister ship to the Carnival Vista and is the largest ship which Fincantieri has ever built for the Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet. It has a gross tonnage of 133,500 tons and is 323 meters long.

Have a comment? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page. 

March 19, 2018 Update: Master mariner, Andrea Romanin, tweets the following today: Carnival Horizon is under repainting in Monfalcone’s shipyard because the full coating of the hull and final touches up carried out in Palermo were a total failure (all peeling….🙈). Amazing….What about paint surveyors? ☹️

Photo credit: Katia Bonaventura via Il Piccolo.

This week a Canadian court ordered the owners of the M/V Clipper Adventurer to pay pollution related costs and fines arising of of an incident in August of 2010 when the vessel struck a large rock shelf near Kugluktuk, Nunavut. 

The owners and operators of the Clipper Adventurer claimed that the ship was not informed about the hazard, and filed a $13.5 million claim again Canada for their repair and salvage and loss of business. The ship’s owners blamed Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans for failing to inform them about the underwater rock shelf. I wrote at the time that this seemed to be a very difficult case for the vessel owners. "They were in the rugged waters of the Northwest Passage and apparently were not using a local pilot who was familiar with the waters. Were they using a depth sounder? Sounds like they were not exercising diligence sailing in these waters without a pilot or correct charts."

We wrote about the incident over 6 years ago – Clipper Adventurer Cruise Ship Runs Aground in the Clipper Adventurer Runs AgroundArctic.

The Canadian court found the Coast Guard properly warned the Clipper Adventurer’s crew of the rock shelf through a notice to shipping, which was not on board the ship. The court wrote "as it was, this nonchalant attitude put the lives of close to 200 souls at risk."

As we pointed out in our article "Uncharted Rocks" and Other Tall Tales – Clipper Adventurer Ran Into A Charted Hazard, the location of the rock which the cruise ship struck had been known for several years, when the Canadian Hydrographic Service informed the shipping industry. The Coast Guard then warned about the supposedly “uncharted rock” that the ship hit in a Notice to Shipping. 

John Hughes Clarke, head of the UNB’s ocean mapping group, stated at the time of the grounding that the problem was that cruise ships "want to go off the safe shipping lanes where there is more dramatic topography or stunning wildlife," in order to be of interest to the paying passengers.

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Credit: UNB Ocean Mapping Group

The DOJ has a history of not arresting cruise executives notwithstanding how widespread the dumping of oil or chemicals in the nations’s waters may be. Will the most recent dumping incidents by Carnival’s subsidiary, Princess Cruises, culminating in a $40,000,000 fine be any different? 

Throughout the 1990’s, Royal Caribbean engaged in repeated dumping of everything from oil to chemicals, including dry-cleaning fluid, printing press solvents and photographic chemicals, into the waters from here in Miami all the way to Glacier Bay in Alaska. The Coast Guard and DOJ caught it using "magic pipes" and falsifying oil logs. The cruise line nonetheless continued to dump oil, lie to the Coast Guard and flaunt the authority of the former head of the DOJ, the late Janet Reno, until the agency leveled increasingly stiff fines of $1,000,000, $8,000,000 and $18,000,000.

Royal Caribbean fought the federal government fiercely back in the late 1990’s, arguing that because it was a Liberian corporation, it was not subject to U.S. environmental laws – an argument rejected by Royal Caribbean Pollution - DOJ Most Wantedthe U.S. courts here in Miami. The cruise line’s dumping was so pervasive and defiant that many joked back in those years that the executives could see Royal Caribbean cruise ships dumping oil right outside of the executives’ windows at their headquarters at the port of Miami.

But the DOJ arrested no one at Royal Caribbean headquarters in Miami; instead, the DOJ focused its prosecution efforts on a Greek engineer who worked on one of the cruise line’s ships. But, some say, it was a half-hearted effort by the DOJ. The engineer eventually walked out of a hotel in Miami when the FBI wasn’t paying attention and flew out of the jurisdiction back to Greece. (He remains technically on the top ten most wanted list of the U.S. Environmental Protection agency).

The New York Times wrote an article Sovereign Islands: Gaps in the Sea Laws Shield Pollution By Cruise Lines. The Times wrote that each Royal Caribbean ship was spending around $380,000 per year in operating an oil water separator ("OWS") and disposing of the waste ashore. "By saving this money, a ship’s officer could receive bigger year’s end bonuses. The savings was the government’s strongest evidence that senior management may have known of the conspiracy . . . "

If any cruise executives should have been arrested for the environmental crimes, many say that the executives at Royal Caribbean were the most likely culprits. But it didn’t happen. 

Carnival Corporation also has a checkered history of widespread use of "magic pipes" and falsifying oil logs on its cruise ships. It was particularly bad in the 80’s and 90’s and culminated in 2002 when the DOJ announced that Carnival had pled guilty to dumping oil and lying about it.  Carnival’s guilty plea revealed that the corporation used the same tricks that the engineers on Princess ships more recently used. Over 15 years ago, the DOJ concluded that on numerous occasions from 1996 through 2001, Carnival’s "engineers intentionally flushed clean water past the sensors of the (OWS) meters. By doing this while discharging was in progress, the engineers tricked the meters to register the oil content in the clean water (0 ppm), instead of the oil content in the bilge waste. The control valves thereby remained in overboard positions, and oily waste was dumped into the sea without regard to the 15 ppm oil content legal limit."

This is the same methods as what the DOJ recently found on Carnival’s ships operated by Princess Cruises.

Back in 2002 the DOJ stated that "overboard discharges of oily waste while clean water was being flushed past the meter sensors occurred on several ships, including the TROPICALE, Cruise Line PollutionSENSATION, FANTASY, ECSTASY, PARADISE and IMAGINATION. Carnival Corporation also admitted that this conduct, which allowed engineers to knowingly dump oil into the sea in quantities that exceeded the legal limit, was intentionally misrepresented in the oil record books of the ships."

So are we to conclude that the exact same widespread illegal practices used in the late 1990’s, including the same "magic pipe" and flushing-the sensors-with-clean-water methods, which occurred as late as 2013, took place without any knowledge by the cruise executives at the helm of Carnival Corporation for almost a fifteen year period of time?

Who were the cruise executives who should have known about the wrongdoing?  Of course, Micky Arison was the CEO of Carnival from 2003 until July 2013. He collected around $75,000,000 in compensation during this period.  In 2012, Arison paid himself $90,000,000 as a bonus.  So, in total compensation and bonuses, Arison received over $165,000,000 while the illegal dumping at Princess Cruises continued. Forbes places Arison’s current net worth at $7,800,000,000 (billion). 

Travel Weekly reported that as of the end of 2014, "the five mostly highly paid executives at Carnival Corp. earned a combined $32.7 million (in compensation a year), including $6.5 million for Costa Group CEO, Michael Thamm, $6.1 million for departed Carnival Cruise Lines President and CEO, Gerry Cahill, $6.1 million for Chief Operations Officer Alan Buckelew (who was the former CEO of Princess), and $5.2 million for CFO, David Bernstein."

Carnival generated $134,899,000,000 (billion) in income from 2004 through 2013, and netted $17,202,000,000 (billion), according to its annual statements.  Consider that Carnival and the other cruise lines pay virtually no international, federal, state or local taxes on their cruise ship profits.

So were the cruise executives concerned that their fabulous wealth would be touched? Hardly. This is an industry of fat-cat executives who know that they are untouchable. It is fundamentally different from other industries where racketeers are prosecuted or where the top dogs will eventually do the right thing for the shareholders when the corporation is caught doing something wrong. Consider what Wells Fargo & Co. Chief Executive John Stumpf recently did when his company was caught opening millions of checking, saving and credit card accounts for customers without their knowledge. Stumpf agreed to forfeit compensation worth about $45 million from around 910,000 shares in un-vested stock awards, and agreed to forego his bonus this year. Another executive who was in charge of the division where much of the illegal activity took place, will give up about $19 million worth of stock. Wells Fargo’s board of directors also said that other executives could lose stock awards or even other compensation already paid to them.       

But there is no way the wealthy cruise executives are going to voluntarily let loose of a single dime of their ill-gotten profits. The tax-paying public will just have to pony up a little more to cover the difference, is what they think.

The cruise executives’ greed is staggering. The $40,000,000 fine, after all, is just a drop in the ocean Micky Arison Carnivalof wealth enjoyed by Carnival executives. Consider that Caribbean Cruise Line, and related marketing and timeshare development companies, agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit to the tune of up to $76,000,000. This case (involved the nuisance of millions of robocalls in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act) involved nothing comparable to discharging oil around the world. 

Yes, the latest pollution scandal earned Princess Cruises and Carnival a certain amount of bad press, but the cruise industry has always been able to navigate through criticism that it is a dirty industry at its core. The only difference that the environmental fines will make is if it deters the misconduct of those who benefited the most from the deliberate pollution. Unfortunately, a $40,000,000 fine to executives who collected many times that amount in compensation and bonuses is meaningless.

It is well past time that corporate activists demand disgorgement of executive bonuses and resignation of executives who have caused harm to corporate shareholders. Likewise, the DOJ needs to wake up. Cruise lines will continue to pollute unabated, as they have done since the1990’s (or earlier), unless and until corporate executive are held personally accountable.

The DOJ and state prosecutors have levied a total of over $90,000,000 in fines against the cruise industry over the last twenty years. The fines are always accompanied with press releases discussing years of probation imposed on the companies which, in the case of Carnival, was quickly violated back in the early 2000’s without any real consequence. The magic pipes, rigged OWS sensors and falsified log books from the 1990’s continued until the mid-2010’s. Carnival and Princess executives have again pointed their crooked fingers at shipboard employees while disavowing any knowledge of what was happening on their ships. With a collective sigh of relief that the DOJ again didn’t arrest a single cruise executive for involvement in the scandal, they quickly agreed to pay the fine.  

Have a thought? Please leave a comment below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Read our other articles about the Princess Cruises deliberate pollution and cover-up:

Princess Cruises Pollution Cover-Up: What Did the Executives Know?

Deliberate Dumping, Cover-Up and Lies: DOJ Fines Princess Cruises $40,000,000.

Photo Credit:  

Michael Evangelos Psomadakis, Chief Engineer Nordic Empress – Environmental Protection Agency Most Wanted Poster.

Micky Arison – Steve Mitchell – USA TODAY Sports via 7500toholte.sbnation.com/ 

The $40,000,000 fine levied against Princess Cruises last week raises the issue of what cruise executives knew about the illegal dumping of oil-contaminated waste from the Caribbean Princess cruise ship and the other illegal practices which took place on the Star Princess, Grand Princess, Coral Princess and Golden Princess.

As the Department of Justice (DOJ) points out, this is not an isolated case involving a rogue ship employee. The criminal misconduct  took place for eight years from 2005 to 2013 (involving the Caribbean Princess) and involved several other cruise ships as well. According to the DOJ, the illegal conduct included not only the "magic pipe" to circumvent the oily water separator on the Caribbean Princess but involved other other illegal practices on the Caribbean Princess as well the Star Princess,Princess Cruises Caribbean Princess Grand Princess, Coral Princess and Golden Princess.

The DOJ suggested that the pollution crimes committed by Princess were motivated by avoiding the costs associated with properly offloading the oily waste in port. The DOJ says that subordinate engineers on the Caribbean Princess nicknamed the chief engineer (responsible for using the "magic pipe" to discharge oily waste in August of 2013) “braccino corto” (a person with short arms), which the DOJ explained is "an Italian expression for a cheap person whose arms are too short to reach his wallet."

According to the DOJ, some Princess engineers expressed the same opinion of the Princess shore-side superintendent.

Princess Cruises’ reaction to the DOJ charges seems designed to isolate its shore-side managers and executives from direct responsibility. Although it admitted that its ship employees’ conduct was "inexcusable," and that its oversight was "inadequate," it denied that its management in its headquarters knew anything illegal was occurring before August 2013.

Gauging from comments on social media, the public seems skeptical.  

Consider some of the comments to the Miami Herald article Carnival-Owned Ship Caught in Pollution Scheme. Now They’re Paying $40 Million for It:

"Of course management knew. Why would a lowly worker come up with this idea? He could care less because he gets paid the same whether or not they follow regulations. Corporate wanted to save time and money . . . "

"Typical cutting corners to increase profits while exploiting foreign workers who work for paupers wages."

Similar comments were posted by readers of USA TODAY’s article Princess Cruises to Plead Guilty to Polluting Ocean:

"Something this significant, all top executives had to have known. It takes money and time to dispose of waste. Were there no questions when time was dramatically saved and cost of waste management decreased drastically? Come on…."

A reader of our Facebook page commented:

"Financial penalties like this are a drop in the ocean for a company the size of Carnival; but does anyone up the chain get jail time? I work in the cruise industry, and I (we) don’t need arrogant (executives) who are looking for their next bonus for "cost savings" thinking that international waters are their big dumping ground."

The purpose of an illegal "magic pipe" is to save costs.  Pursuant to international requirements, oily bilge water from a cruise ship must be treated to the point that the oil content is below 15 parts per million before it is can be discharged into the ocean. The oil-water separators (OWS) are expensive to maintain and operate. The oil that is separated from the bilge water must be stored and then offloaded from the ship onto barges or pumped ashore to be incinerated at licensed facilities. But the "magical pipe" avoids the costs associated with maintaining the OWS and removing and disposing of the waste products.  

Like other cruise lines, Carnival Corporation places considerable pressure on all its brands to reduce costs. The costs associated with the operation of a ship are carefully scrutinized and analyzed from ship to ship. A significant variation in costs between a ship offloading and disposing oil compared to a ship dumping oil at sea via a "magic pipe" should be readily observed by any corporation. It is doubtful that the low waste disposal costs of the Caribbean Princess, compared to a ship with a functioning oil water separator (OWS), didn’t come to the attention of the shore-side managers as well as those in the company and parent corporation who audit the costs of operating the cruise line’s fleet of cruise ships. My opinion is that someone on the corporate side probably knew what was really happening on one of the company’s $500 million ships, or perhaps they turned a blind eye toward the monkey business. 

The closest that the DOJ will come to holding the cruise executives responsible is saying that the illegal discharge "was the result of more than just bad actors on one ship. It reflects very poorly on Princess’s culture and management."

This slap on the wrist ignores the fact that when the Caribbean Princess started its eight years of discharging oily wastes into the oceans, Carnival was still on probation following a fine of $18,000,000. In 2002, as part of its felony plea agreement, Carnival and its "subsidiaries and operating companies" were required to undertake a five year court-supervised environmental program involving every "cruise ship and shoreline facility in the U.S. and abroad." Carnival was required to " . . . hire new personnel and managers, whose sole responsibilities . . . [were] to ensure compliance with local, state, federal and international environmental requirements . . . (and) subject their operation to an independent auditor, approved by the government." 

Princess Cruises was not yet owned by Carnival in 2002 but Carnival took ownership and control of Princess Cruises the following year. It is less than clear whether Carnival took steps to ensure that Carnival-owned ships operated by its subsidiary Princess Cruises complied with the 2002 consent agreement with the DOJ after Princess Cruises came under Carnival’s control in 2003 when Carnival was beginning the DOJ probation period. Regardless, shortly after it started service, the Caribbean Princess began a course of criminal conduct until 2013 which would make the ship’s engineers the poster-children of maritime environmental criminals.   

Is the public really expected to believe that the executives at Carnival or Princess didn’t know anything about the cost-saving criminal conduct over the course of nearly a decade?

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Some people people have suggested that president Jan Swartz should resign but she was not the executive at the helm of Princess during the 2005 – 2013 time period. She worked for Princess as a vice president in sales, marketing, business development and customer service for some of the years in question before leaving the cruise line. She returned to Princess as the top CEO in December 2013, replacing President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Alan Buckelew who had been the Chief Executive Officer of Princess Cruises from June 2007 to November 2013 and its President from February 2004 to November 2013, as well as the Chief Operating Officer of Carnival since December 1, 2013.  Perhaps Swartz’s return to the cruise line was part of the reshuffling that took place after the illegal "magic pipe" was reported to the U.K. Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) a few month earlier?  

Photo Credit: Caribbean Princess in the Caribbean heading for Miami – Cruiser1210 – CC BY-SA 3.0, commons / wikimedia.

You can read our first article about the DOJ fines here: Deliberate Dumping, Cover-Up and Lies: DOJ Fines Princess Cruises $40,000,000.

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A week ago we discussed a controversy which erupted in Brazil when around 60 bathers on Turtle Beach in the beautiful resort town of Buzios became ill. Government officials suspected that a cruise ship discharged noxious liquids and waste into the waters. 

A newspaper in Brazil, Globo, covered the story and posted aerial photographs of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship with discolored water around it.  It looked to me that the muddy-looking water was probably sand and silt which had been churned up by the vessel’s engines. We posted the photos on line. The issue nonetheless remained what made the bathers at the beach so sick?

Brazil took samples of the contaminated water at the beach, as well as samples from several cruise ships in the area. The test results were inconclusive. The cruise association in Brazil denies that any of the cruise ships discharged anything and maintains that all ships comply with international maritime standards addressing the discharge of waste water.

The controversy reported in the press has led to at least one cruise passenger coming forward to claim that other cruise ships may be fouling the waters in Brazil.

Globo reports that cruise passenger Jesus Alcinir, age 50, from Panama, was sailing on the MSC Orchestra with his family last November to Buzios. He observed what he believed was a nasty looking and terribly smelling liquid that seemed to leave the ship. He took a photograph which you can see below.

He told Globo: "I was watching the sea. That transparent color, that blue sea with green, when out of nowhere this spot that seemed to come out of our ship emerged. The smell was very strong at the time and I was upset to hear that it could be some fluid that would be polluting the environment."

A crew member said that because the ship just stopped and lowered an anchor, silt would have been disrupted and muddied the water.

Passenger Alcinar was unconvinced, particularly because of the strong smell. 

I suppose that the smell could have been from the muck and perhaps decomposing organic material like seaweed. I would also think that if the cruise ship was going to illegally open its bilges, it would do so at night while the ship was underway. 

No samples were taken of the water. 

Being accused of discharging waste in Brazilian waters in the last thing that MSC needs. Last December we posted a video of MSC crew members seemingly throwing garbage bags in the water near a marine sanctuary in Brazil. 

Sewage or silt? Join the discussion on our Facebook page.

MSC Orchestra Cruise Ship

Photo Credit: Jesus Alcinir via Globo

A number of news sources are reporting the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) joined an investigation by the U.K. whether Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess cruise ship violated international pollution laws.

Bloomberg News states that Carnival Corporation announced that the DOJ joined an investigation being conducted by the U.K. Maritime & Coastguard Agency which had initiated an investigation last August.

The news sources are reporting that last September, Carnival reached an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to spend $180 million to reduce sulfur emissions from its fleet of cruise ships. Carnival agreed to to install scrubbers and filters on its ships to reduce the toxic emissions of its cruise ships.

This news account was posted on a Princess Cruises’ message board but there has been no discussion yet.

It is not clear whether the joint U.S.-U.K. Caribbean Princess investigation is related to air emission issues or some other type of pollution violation. Princess Cruises’ ships were often cited in the past for violating Alaska’s waste-water regulations.

The Caribbean Princess was last in the news when it returned to Houston after a norovirus outbreak.

Anyone with information exactly when and what the Caribbean Princess is accused of violating please leave a comment or join the discussion on our Facebook page

Photo Credit:  Wikipedia / Yankeesman312

December 1, 2016 UpdateDeliberate Dumping, Cover-Up and Lies: DOJ Fines Princess Cruises $40,000,000.