Cruise companies and other major industry players took part in a workshop in Bergen, to discuss the industry's climate impact.

Major cruise lines aiming to cut carbon emissions

The global cruise industry is now charting a new course, after the world’s largest cruise lines gathered in Bergen to discuss reducing their carbon emissions.

The three largest cruise companies in the world – Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines – recently took part in a workshop aimed at tackling major climate challenges.

“We have discussed entirely new concepts for how the cruise industry might look in future,” explained Christina Ianssen from the Bellona Foundation, who was also present.

Finding a solution

The global cruise ship industry is estimated to produce around 19,000 metric kilo-tonnes of waste carbon dioxide a year – that’s equal to the emissions of 4 million passenger vehicles per year.

Carnival has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 25% by 2025, while Royal Caribbean is aiming to cut emissions by 35% by 2020. 

At the recent event in Bergen, the cruise industry giants came together with other major industry players including Wärtsilä Ship Design, DNV GL and the Port of Bergen.

The industry members discussed a range of ideas that could help to make cruise ships more environmentally‑friendly.

Sebastian Sala, from Carnival Cruises, says: “I strongly believe that good ideas can come from everywhere, and do come from everywhere. So the more we talk openly, and the more we communicate with each other, the better the results will be.”

The workshop is part of the wider “Green cruising” project, led by the NCE Maritime CleanTech business cluster based in western Norway.

Norway’s cruise companies are working on new, environmentally-friendly cruise ships. Photo © Terje Rakke / Nordic life -​

Preserving the fjords

It was fitting that the session was held Norway, as the country has recently decided to ban carbon‑emitting vessels from its famous fjord region.

From 2026 onwards, the nation’s UNESCO‑protected fjords will only be open to ships that are powered by batteries or hydrogen fuel cells.

Several cruise companies in Norway are currently working on a new generation of climate‑friendly vessels that can live up to these strict requirements.

Trond Amland, from NCE Tourism Fjord Norway was present at the meeting and commented that the industry was taking a step in the right direction.

“I believe in the holistic approach we are taking here. The cruise industry faces many challenges, and we need to approach them from a number of different angles.”

Overall, the project gathers participants from: BKK, Teknotherm, RCCL, Cruise Norway, Bostek, Scanship, GAC Norway, Hyon, Wärtsilä Ship Design, NORCE, Corvus Energy, Bellona, Port of Bergen, Carnival, ETA Energi, MS Gann, Hydro Extrusions, NCE Tourism Fjord Norway, NCL, Prototech, Yxney Maritime, Østensjø, Blueday, Solbære and DNV GL.

Find out more about Bergen’s maritime cleantech industry


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