Amsterdam established a tax on cruise passengers effective January 1, 2019. The new tax of €8 ($9.12) applies to every cruise passenger over 3 years old per 24-hour period.

As reported by the LA Times, two cruise lines have cancelled port visits to Amsterdam because of the nominal tax.  MSC Cruises and Cruise & Maritime Voyages canceled future stops.

The trade organization for the cruise industry, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), claims that the tax is “extremely disproportionate.” It threatened Amsterdam with cancellation by cruise lines which could result in a budget deficit of several million euros  as a result of reduced fees collected by the Port of Amsterdam.

However, the only thing truly disproportionate is that the cruise industry pays virtually no U.S. taxes at all.

Amsterdam, like other popular European cities, is struggling with the heavy demands placed on the city by mass tourism. Amsterdam wants tourists to make a fair contribution to the city.  Amsterdam’s website states that:

“. . . companies operating sea and river cruises should pay a tourist tax of 8 euros per passenger. This ‘day tripper tax’ will only apply to cruise passengers who do not live in Amsterdam and are only stopping over, not to passengers who are starting or ending a cruise in Amsterdam.”

Amsterdam is not the only city struggling with the influx of cruise tourism. There has been considerable news coverage of the “increasing hordes of tourists” descending on Venice every year.

Compare the crushing crowd of tourists in Venice which I photographed in 2016 during a family vacation (top) with the photo which I took when traveling alone there in 1977 (bottom).

The NewEurope newspaper states that:

After years threatening to regulate the number of visitors entering the city, which is constantly under the threat of sinking into the lagoon that it sits on, the Venetian government has decided that it will introduce an entry fee, or landing tax, of up to €10, depending on the season, for day-trippers arriving on cruise ships.

CLIA, which of course resists taxes of all types on cruise companies and their customers, expressed its disappointment with the new taxes. It tried to explain its refusal to honor the taxes by waxing historically:

“At the core of its history is Venice’s relationship with the sea. Ships have always been part of its identity and the cruise industry represents the modern manifestation of a centuries-old tradition.”

But the billion dollar monster cruise ships which tower over the city today could hardly have been imagined when Venice was built 500 years ago.

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

Read: Are Cruise Ships Ruining Venice Or Just Memories of My Youth?

Photos credit: Top – Venice (2016) –  Jim Walker; middle – Venice (2016); bottom – Venice – Jim Walker (1977).

Faroe Islands Whale SlaughterEuropean cruise lines AIDA, Hapag-Lloyd, and P & O have already decided to avoid the Faroe Islands because of the cruel and gruesome slaughter of pilot whales (Grindadrap). Kudos to them. Disney is the only U.S. based cruise line avoiding the Faroes. Double Kudos to the Magical Cruise Company for doing the right thing. 

But Royal Caribbean and Royal Caribbean-owned Azamara, NCL and Oceania & Regent Seven Seas (both owned by NCL), Silversea Cruises, Windstar, and HAL & Princess (both owned by Carnival) are still sailing to the Faroes. I doubt that people would cruise on these companies’ cruise ships to the Faroe islands if they knew about this slaughter. 

Yesterday the Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson mentioned this blog is his commentary "STOP THE VOYAGES TO HELL – Whale Friendly Tourists are not Welcome in the Danish Faroe Islands." Captain Watson explains that the Faroes recently passed a law that requires tourists to report pods of whales so that the country can slaughter them. He writes that:

"One of the pods of Pilot Whales exterminated by the Faroese whalers earlier this summer was spotted and reported by a tourist because the "special" new Grind Laws of the Faroe Islands makes it a criminal offense for anybody to not report a pod of whales to the whalers.

So when tourists have been recruited into being accessories to the slaughter, it is time to discourage more tourists from being recruited." 

It’s time to act. If you are disturbed by this evil spectacle, do something about it.  Call your travel agent. Complain to the cruise lines that support the Faroe Islands and which profit from excursions to this location. Refuse to cruise on ships that cruise there. Don’t give your money to cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, NCL and Carnival brands that sail there. 

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

Photo Credit: campaign-whale.org  Be sure to watch the short video below:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=iHASfnqn8Ec%3Frel%3D0

This week I listened to the multi-millionaire cruise executives praise the cruise industry at the "state of the cruise industry" at the Cruise Shipping Miami (CSM 2014) trade show.

As anticipated, Carnival’s CEO and former Monsanto chemical executive Arnold Donald said cruise ship accidents are "so rare . . .  cruising is safe."  Royal Caribbean’s long time executive Richard Fain claimed that cruise lines are "heavily regulated." The audience of travel agents and vendors tied to the cruise lines all politely clapped.  

The speeches contained little substance, no statistical support, and virtually all self-serving opinions. Carnival Cruise Ship FireI felt like I was at a motivational speaker convention sponsored by Amway.

The telling comments at the conference came from Norwegian Cruise Line’s CEO Kevin Sheehan. He said: "we are ruled by public opinion; unless we can keep our business running right will always be on defensive." The NCL boss added: "a period of operational excellence and no media incidents are needed."

Of course, this was the real insight into the state of the cruise industry – the cruise lines are on the defensive. The cruise lines seem nervous as they claim that their troubles are behind them. They are in the business of selling fantasy dream-like vacations to ports in the Caribbean which are becoming more and more violent.  They are praying that the media doesn’t bash them after a cruise ship catches on fire or a family is gunned down in the streets of Nassau. 

What’s the industry’s plan to pull itself out of the harsh media scrutiny? I didn’t hear one at CSM. The cruise lines, it seems to me, are just hanging in the balance hoping for the best. 

But history tells us that more trouble lies ahead. 

There have been over 90 fires on cruise ships since 1990, according to testimony at one of the many Congressional hearing on cruise ships disasters. Some fires were big, some were small although there is nothing really insignificant about any type of fire on the high seas.

Last year, the big story involved the Carnival Triumph, of course, which CNN covered non-stop. But the more significant fire involved the Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas which burned for two hours. Most people seem to have already forgotten the fire on the Grandeur. Yes there will be cruise ship fires this year; hopefully minor ones only with no injuries. The public knows that accidents happen. The most important issue is whether the cruise lines respond promptly and responsibly (like Royal Caribbean did after the Grandeur fire) or delays unreasonably (like Carnival after the Triumph fire) and / or acts outrageously (like Carnival after the Concordia disaster)  

The cruise industry’s image problem is not just because of ship fires and Concordia-like disasters. The continuous stories about bad medical care, mistreatment of crew members, sexual assaults, children victimization, missing passengers, and so forth, coupled with a callous PR response, have more of an effect on the cruise industry’s image. Its like reputation death by a thousand cuts.

Last December, I published Top 10 Most Outrageous Cruise Ship Stories of 2013 & the "Worst Cruise Line in the World" Award.

In my assessment, the factors which most harmed the cruise lines’ reputation last year didn’t involve accidents at all. Rather, the most damage came from incidents showing the cruise lines’ egregious disregard of the law and a lack of care and compassion of their passengers and crew. The real damage comes from events like mishandling cases involving persons disappearing at sea, ignoring the man overboard laws, crew members arrested and sentenced to jail for child porn, fleecing crew members of their tips and retirement benefits, and a family cruise line aiding and abetting a child predator escape justice. 

One of the most embarrassing stories last year involved Silversea Cruises which was caught by the USPH hiding perishable food down in the crew quarters. We were contacted by crew members who complained about this, but Silversea ignored us when we contacted them. We sent the story to CNN. The special that CNN produced tarnished not only this luxury line but cast the entire industry in a bad light. The entire chain of events could have been avoided by Silversea just being honest and transparent.

The cruise lines suffer, in my opinion, from a combination of being arrogant and rattlebrained. The cruise industry engages in some really bad conduct on a continuous basis. It often makes things substantially worse when confronted by the media and bloggers like myself.

Last week, former crew members sent us video and photographs which seem to suggest that MSC MSC Cruises Cruise DumpingCruises has been dumping garbage, plastics and debris into the water in violation of international pollution law.

We asked MSC for an explanation. MSC ignored us just like Silversea Cruises did last year. MSC claims that un-named authorities in Brazil are investigating the allegations, but it refuses to identify the authorities or provide contact information. MSC is digging itself and the cruise industry into a deeper hole.

Cruise lines like MSC tout that they treat the maritime environment like this when in truth they may be treating the waters like this.  When the major media networks latch onto a story, the cruise industry is forced to make a statement, but the cruise lines often sound and appear evasive and unbelievable.

Until cruise lines act responsibly and treat all of their crew members, guests and the earth with respect and act with transparency toward the media, the cruise industry’s reputation will continue to suffer. 

Costa Concordia Cruise Ship DisasterAs 2012 comes to a close, it’s time to take a look back at the images of the year in cruising.  

Below are 10 images of 2012 which tell the story of one of the most dangerous and controversial years in the history of cruising. My perspective is not that as a travel agent or vacation planner, but as the publisher of a law blog with the motto "everything the cruise lines don’t want you to know." 

No. 10 – The Year of the Cruise Ship Bug:  Cruise lines hate it when anyone calls norovirus the "cruise ship bug." The nasty virus strikes nursing homes, day care facilities and hospitals too, but who wants to defend sick cruise ships by comparing them to facilities filled with ill patients or kids with pooh in their pants? I wrote more stories about norovirus and e-coli causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea to nice people on the high seas than I care to admit.  We end the year with ABC News airing a segment on the Cruise Ship Norovirus"dangerous virus" sickening hundreds on the Cunard QM 2 and Princess’ Emerald Princess cruise ships over Christmas.

Putting hysteria aside, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) documented 16 cases of cruise ship gastrointestinal illness, mostly noro, and that’s counting only cruise ships calling on U.S. ports. Princess won the award for the greatest number of sick cruise ships this year, as well as the quickest to blame the passengers for not washing their hands even though the norovirus is primarily a food and water borne pathogen. The thought of being trapped on one of these floating petri dishes with hundreds of puking passengers makes me break out in a cold sweat.

No. 9 – Are Crew Members Fungible Goods?  This year has seen flagrant abuse of hard working crew members who are the backbone of the cruise industry. By registering their companies and cruise ships in countries like Liberia, Bermuda, and the Bahamas, the cruise lines ensure that the cruise employees have virtually no legal rights or bargaining power. Cruise giants Carnival and Royal Caribbean take advantage of the situation. A documentary in the U.K earlier this year exposed Celebrity Cruises Cruise Ship Crew Member Wages Working Conditionsoverworking and underpaying its waiters. Carnival’s P&O Cruises terminated 150 waiters from India who went on a peaceful 2 hour strike in Seattle to protest low wages and the withholding of tips, even though the Captain personally promised that the cruise line would not retaliate against the cruise employees. Carnival and P&O broke their word but not the law because there is no law protecting the crew members if they strike. 150 Indians now find themselves blackballed from the cruise industry.

We were contacted by more ill or injured crew members this year than ever before, most with serious orthopedic and neurological injuries to their necks and backs.  Cruise lines try and keep the sick employees out of the U.S. and try and suppress stories and images of injured crew employees. When the Azamara Quest experienced a disabling engine room fire, the cruise line quickly announced that all of the passengers were okay and heaped praise on the ship’s captain. But the cruise line failed to mention that crew members were seriously injured during the fire, including one crew member trapped in an elevator shaft who was overcome by Richard Fain Royal Caribbeanthe heat and smoke.  No newspapers in the U.S. mentioned the injuries to the crew members.  Does anyone care about the crew?

No. 8 – Cruise Executives Get Richer, While Crew Members Get Poorer: 2012 was reportedly a difficult financial year for the cruise lines but you would never know it by looking at the huge sums of money which the cruise line CEO’s pay themselves. In addition to his regular multi-million-dollar salary, Royal Caribbean CEO Richard Fain collected $11,500,000 by selling a small amount of his RCL stock.  Royal Caribbean meanwhile paid its bar-servers only $50 a month and required them to work for tips carrying a dozen tropical drinks around the pool deck while balancing a bottle of rum on their heads. Carnival CEO Arison paid himself an end-of-the-year bonus of $90,000,000. Both Carnival and Royal Caribbean viewed the tips paid by the passengers for crew members as sources of income for the cruise lines while paying their executives astronomical salaries, bonuses and stock options.

No. 7 – Polluters of the Air & Seas: The cruise lines made a big pitch this year that they are leaders in conserving the marine environment, proclaiming that they vigorously protect the waters upon which they Cruise Ship Pollutionsail. The Cruise Line International Association started the year with a message to the public that the cruise lines were stewards of the environment and embedded a beautiful stock photo showing colorful coral reefs and an abundance of tropical fish. But the following day the quaint coastal town of Nahant, Massachusetts found a local beach fouled by a huge amount of human excrement, toilet paper, rubber gloves, plastic bottles, dental floss, condoms, personal hygiene items and a urinal cake covered in a mass of disgusting brown foam which was believed to have been dumped by a passing NCL cruise ship.

Cruise lines are fighting stricter air emissions laws and are still burning toxic bunker fuel, even on its newest cruise ships.  A passenger sent me a photo of the Saga Sapphire which tried to continue sailing with some seriously smoking engines. The Friends of the Earth environmental group graded both Carnival and Royal Caribbean a "D+" for their disastrous impact on the air and sea.

Disappearances at Sea - Cruise Ship Cover UpNo. 6 – Cruise Lines Stonewall Families of Missing Passengers & Crew Members:  Mike and Ann Coriam are still waiting for basic information about what happened to their daughter Rebecca who worked as a child care supervisor and disappeared from the Disney Wonder last year.

Investigations into the disappearances of of people from cruise ships at sea often fall to the "flag state" countries like Bermuda and the Bahamas which have little interest in doing anything that might embarrass their cruise line customers which fly their flags.

This year, twenty-three (23) passengers and crew members vanished on the high seas. That’s an average of 2 a month. The cases are characterized by the cruise lines’ lack of transparency and the flag states’ hide-the-ball tactics. The families are hit with a double whammy. First, they suffer the loss of a child or other family member. Then, secondly and unnecessarily, they have to endure the cover-up by the cruise line and flag state. 

No. 5 – Deaths & Injuries on Zip Lines, FlowRiders, Rock Walls, Jet-Skis, & Excursions: As the cruise ships got bigger and bigger this year, the cruise lines added an increasing number of activities Royal Caribbean Flow Riderboth on and off the ships.

We have been contacted by families seriously injured on rock climbing walls, in skating rinks, and on zip lines and simulated surfing attractions. One activity, the FlowRider attraction, is something which we consider the most dangerous activities you can participate in during a cruise.  Off of the cruise ships, deaths have marred cruises due to snorkeling, diving, kayaking, para-sailing, dune bugging, catamaran, and open air bus excursion accidents around the world.  

Cruise passengers have also been targeted for robberies and rapes in cruise line ports of call.  The most potentially violent ports of call? You’re pretty safe in Canada and Europe, but Mexico and the Caribbean ports of call are dangerous. Don’t expect the cruise lines to warn you. This year we won a major appeal where the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that Carnival has the legal duty to warn passengers of violence and crimes in ports of call. The case involved the tragic death of a girl who was shot to death in front of her parents in St. Thomas.

No. 4 – The Year of Cruise Ship Child Predators and Child Pornographers: Stories about cruise ship waiters, youth counselors, stateroom attendants and pool cleaners sexually abusing children were a frequent topic on this blog. But male crew members are not the only danger presented to child and young Cunard Cruise Paul Trotterwomen during cruises.  Male passengers raped and sexually abused other passenger on a regular basis with the most common scenario involving older teenager or young men inviting younger girls back to their cabins with promises of drinking alcohol at a party.  The photo is of the most prolific cruise ship predator we know of – Cunard crew member Paul Trotter. You would think that a luxury cruise line like Cunard would carefully vet their employees. But not so. Trotter was employed as a youth counselor / child activities coordinator who worked aboard most of the Cunard cruise ships, interacting with children during nearly 300 cruises over the course of over 5 years. He was arrested in the U.K. for abusing at least 13 boys of English nationality and of course he abused American kids too.

In addition to sexual abuse of children, a number of passengers and crew members were arrested for Carnival Cruise Micky Arisonhaving child pornography images and video on their laptop computers and iPhones. The cruise lines try and keep this nasty stuff secret.  But the danger is real.  Parents watch your kids. If something goes wrong during the cruise, don’t think that the cruise line will believe your daughter over their crew member.

No. 3 – The Greatest Disappearing Act of the Year – Where’s Micky?  Carnival’s Micky Arison disappeared when the cruise world was looking for a strong voice and reassurance following the Concordia disaster. He would not answer questions raised by families of the dead about the disaster. He said later that he would make certain that all of the Concordia passengers were taken care of. He didn’t honor that promise.

Arison did prove that he is a magician who can disappear in January when leadership was needed and magically re-appear at the end of the year to watch his Miami Heat play basketball and to pay himself a $90,000,000 bonus. The only person he took care of this year was himself.

No. 2 – "Coward of the Seas" a/k/a "Chicken of the Seas:" The country of Italy has an impressive maritime tradition which dates back centuries. But cruise ship captain Francesco Schettino did a good Francesco Schettino Cruise Ship Cowardjob of single handily ruining his country’s reputation on the night of January 13, 2012.

If you were asked to write a script for a cruise ship disaster movie, the Costa Concordia script would be rejected as being too outrageous. A handsome married captain is dining with a blonde cruise ship dancer and leaves his lover and glass of vino to ram the ship into the rocks during a showboating stunt only to delay evacuation and leave the passengers while sneaking off the ship like a rat?  But Schettino is not capable of shame, explaining that he didn’t really abandon ship but that he slipped and fell into a lifeboat. He later said that the "hand of God" touched him and he should be considered to be a hero for saving thousands of passengers and crew members from drowning. He also managed to file a lawsuit against Costa for wrongful termination. Stayed tuned. 

No. 1 – Costa Concordia & Cruise Line Lies: January started with a story about a cruise ship called the Costa Concordia, a name no one will forget for a long time. Do you remember where you were when the Concordia hit the rocks? The first image (top photo) I saw of the disaster was sent via Twitter by a blogger in the U.K.   When the first official communications from Costa were that evacuation was proceeding "orderly" and the passengers were "not at risk," but people on Twitter were talking about panicked passengers jumping into the water, I knew then that things were really screwed up. 32 dead people and thousands terrorized. Costa and the cruise industry want the public to believe that the disaster was due solely to one maverick captain run amuck. But the Concordia debacle reveals much about the unregulated nature of a cruise business with little regard for spending money on passenger and crew safety.

Costa Concordia It’s now almost a year later and the capsized ship remains lying on its side like a giant dead whale – a fitting image of a disastrous year.

2012 was also the year of the big lie – who told the biggest cruise ship whopper? Take your pick: "The Situation Is Under Control, Go Back To Your Cabin" says a Costa supervisor to panicked passenger who assembled on deck with their life vests ready to be evacuated. "I slipped and fell into the lifeboat" by Captain Francesco Schettino. Or "Cruising Is the Safest Form of Transportation" (as well as an endless number of other big fibs) by the shameless Cruise Line International Association (CLIA).

Thanks for Reading Cruise Law News (CLN): We enjoyed a record setting year, ending up by far the most popular maritime law blog in the world. This year over 1,200,000 people visited CLN and they read over 3,500,000 pages of CLN. I’d like to think that people read CLN because it lives up to the motto "everything the cruise lines don’t want you to know."

Happy New Year.  We hope we have less bad news to blog about in 2013.  If you are vacationing on the high seas next year, have a safe and enjoyable cruise.

Please leave a comment below or leave a comment on out Facebook page.

 

Photo Credit:

Richard Fain – Wall Street Journal Smart Money / by Jeffrey Salter / Redux

Mike & Ann Coriam / Disney Wonder – LA Times

Costa Concordia (bottom) – Reuters

A newspaper in the Bahamas published an interesting article quoting the newly appointed tourism minister, Obie Wilchcombe, in the Bahamas:  Cruise ships are " . . . floating shopping malls now, casinos and hotels. The Caribbean made a mistake 20 years ago when they didn’t limit what cruise ships could do; now the cruise ships own the towns. In Antigua and other places like that, they actually own shopping areas.”

Mr. Wilchcombe articulated what many merchants in the Bahamas and other Caribbean islands have been muttering under their breath for years.

The cruise ships have become bigger and bigger over the years, with more and more attractions being Bay Street - Nassau Bahamas - Cruise Portadded to the ships. Cruising has increasingly become an all inclusive vacation where the cruise ship is the destination itself and many passengers do not even come off of the cruise ships to shop.  The cruise ships are also sucking money out of the passengers before they come to port: “Everything is paid for ahead of time, and they just come with a few dollars in their pockets."

Mr. Wilchcombe also lamented that the cruisers who do come ashore have less money than before. The flood of new ships has changed the type of people (i.e., less affluent) who walk up and down Bay Street in Nassau.  

His goal is to attract a greater number of tourists to come to the Bahamas by air, who will stay in and eat at Bahamian owned hotels and restaurants.  

We wish Mr. Wilchcombe good luck with that.  Unfortunately, the cruise industry has benefited from its predatory relationship with the little Caribbean islands for many decades.  

Miami-based cruise lines enjoy a tax free income many times greater than the GNP of the Bahamas or any Caribbean country for that matter.  With few independent or sustainable industries, the Bahamas need the cruise lines far more than the cruise lines need it. Unrealistically low head taxes, deterioration of the port’s infrastructure, unfair fees to shore-side excursions vendors, and cruise tourists who have already emptied their pockets on the cruise ships are signs of a master-servant relationship that continues to exploit the beautiful islands and people in the Caribbean. 

 

History of Bay Street and the Bahamas interest you?  Consider reading:

"Whose Bay Street? Competing Narratives of Nassau’s City Centre

I’se a Man: Political Awakening and the 1942 Riot in the Bahamas

 

Photo Credit: Liquid Latitudes

One of the little know facts about the cruise industry is that it pays virtually no U.S. taxes.

The cruise lines take advantage of an obscure provision in the U.S. tax code which permits shipping companies to evade taxes by incorporating overseas and flying the flags of foreign countries.  That’s why Carnival is incorporated in Panama, Royal Caribbean is incorporated in Liberia, and Princess Cruises is incorporated in Bermuda. 

The New York Times covered the issue of cruise line taxes today:

"The Carnival Corporation wouldn’t have much of a business without help from various branches of the government.  The United States Coast Guard keeps the seas safe for Carnival’s cruise ships. Customs officers make it possible for Carnival cruises to travel to other countries.  State and local governments have built roads and bridges leading up to the ports where Carnival’s ships dock.  

Mickey Arison - Carnival Cruise - No TaxesBut Carnival’s biggest government benefit of all may be the price it pays for many of those services.  Over the last five years, the company has paid total corporate taxes — federal, state, local and foreign — equal to only 1.1 percent of its cumulative $11.3 billion in profits.  Thanks to an obscure loophole in the tax code, Carnival can legally avoid most taxes."

I have written about the cruise industry’s ability to avoid U.S. taxes since starting this blog.

Carnival was created by Ted Arison (father of current CEO Mickey Arison, photo right).  Senior Arison collected billions of dollars from tax paying U.S. passengers and lived the good life in Miami.  But he registered his Miami-based cruise line and his cruise ships in Panama to avoid U.S. taxes.  In 1990, he abandoned Miami, denounced his U.S. citizenship, and returned to Israel with his billions in a ploy to avoid estate and inheritance taxes.

Whenever I think of cruise tycoons like the Arisons and the foreign cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean, I can’t help but think what a scam they are running.    

The Miami-based cruise lines file papers of incorporation and vessel registration in distant countries where no one will bother them with things like income tax, wage and labor laws, or safety regulations. They then collect billions of dollars a year from hard working saps – the U.S. tax paying public. 

 

Like this article?  Consider reading: 

Cruise Line Fat Cat Billionaires 

What the Cruise Industry Has to Learn From My Cousins Back in Arkansas

 

Credits: Mickey Arison – David Adame AP (via Cruise Blog)

Canada’s Globe and Mail reports today that the cruise industry is lobbying Canada lawmakers to try and avoid the clean air regulations passed two months ago by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Cruise Ship Emissions - Bunker Fuel - Sulphur - Dirst AirAs we reported in April, Over Cruise Industry’s Objection, IMO Creates Air Pollution Buffer Around U.S. and Canada.  The IMO voted to enact regulations requiring cruise ships and other vessel to burn cleaner (lower sulfur) fuel within 200 nautical miles of Canada and the United States.  As matters now stand, cruise ship burn nasty bunker fuels which contain a high sulfur content and pose a distinct health hazard to anyone who breathes the non-combustible particles. 

Cruise ship smoke is a killer.  

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said the changes will save as many as 14,000 lives a year by improving air quality.  A comment to the Globe and Mail report is spot on in stating:

"It is outrageous that cruise ship industry proponents would dare consider going to Ottawa in an attempt to influence our politicians on canceling the clean fuel initiatives. Obviously, human lives are being prematurely taken every year and billions of public healthcare dollars are spent throughout North America treating respiratory illnesses brought on by marine emission sources . . .  However cruise tourism executives do not see it that way.  Visiting cruise tourists buying souvenir trinkets in Victoria gift shops, are given more validity than a human life, degradation to our environment and the millions in future healthcare costs."

After the IMO passed the new regulations, the cruise industry’s notorious trade organization, the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), issued a statement that it supports the “goals and intent” of the new pollution buffer zone.  In my last blog on this issue, I wrote: "Hogwash. Over the next few years, you will see the cruise industry try and avoid the new IMO rules."

I was wrong.  It did not take a "few years."  It’s been only 2 months.  And CLIA is back to its dirty business.   

 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=1_B8VxZLOy4%26hl%3Den_US%26fs%3D1%26rel%3D0

 

For additional information, consider reading: 

Cruise Industry: "Notorious Polluters"

Polluting Cruises Lines Oppose Clean Air Law

Super Ships – Rogues on the High Seas

Reason No. 9 Not To Cruise: Bunker Fuel – Nasty Tar Sludge!

 

Credit:

Photograph          Gerardo Dominguez, UC San Diego (via UCSD Division of Physical Science "Dirty Smoke from Ships Found to Degrade Air Quality in Coastal Cities")