Surely with that many people going on cruise each year it can’t be that wrong ? Can it ? Well can it ? Of course, going on a cruise is an exceptional experience. Everyday a new horizon, no need to travel hours in a uncomfortable coach, facilities on board, themed parties, and a certain inimitable lifestyle. But as travelers we should also ask ourselves this question: at what cost ?
These giant monsters of the sea represent a growing part of the global tourism industry. 24.2 million passengers last year to be exact, and a expectation of even more in 2017 (http://www.cruising.org/docs/default-source/research/2016_clia_sotci.pdf?sfvrsn=0) ! Let’s put that into context, it is 6 million more than the number of tourist Canada welcomed in 2016.
It would be naive of us to believe something as huge as those cruisers to be harmful on sea life. Every activity onboard produces waste of one form or another : food, oil, sewage, chemicals, etc… In fact even the noise of the engines is causing damages to marine life (http://www.marineinsight.com/environment/effects-of-noise-pollution-from-ships-on-marine-life/). They do not only have a huge impact on the environment, they also have harmful consequences on the passengers’ health. A french documentary recently measured air quality on a cruise ship. The results are alarming. What passengers breathe on the deck is 60 times more concentrated in harmful air pollutants than in a normal environment, making it 20 times worse than in an animated city center ! (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/cruises/news/air-pollution-levels-200-times-higher-on-cruise-ships/) Anyone for a tanning session on the sun deck ?
If you are a bit like me, what you enjoy most about traveling is the thrill of discovery. Hear this. Quite literally, in August 2016 an enormous cruiser destroyed a little Sicilian marina. (http://www.ybw.com/news-from-yachting-boating-world/carnival-vista-cruise-ship-wake-damages-marina-sicily-41526) Despite the believable justifications of the cruise company, the damage echoes to what could happen in Venice one day or another. What would there be left to discover if the travel industry is destroying its best assets ? Cruisers are fogging up London even more. They are shaking Venice’s fragile foundations. They are chasing away the notable Caribbean sea life. The list goes on.
Cruise companies will tell you: «We produce business. We make those destinations live. They would be nothing to discover if we weren’t investing in it.». And yes, to a certain extent it is true. But think about it. It also means, the travel industry, and I insist on the word ‘industry’, is ruling destinations we seek for their particularities. It condemns sites to be sites. It freezes them in a artificial frame. And when it comes to the economical repercussions, there again it is arguable. Many locals, in France, Mexico or elsewhere, are living from the tourism industry. B&Bs, hotels and restaurants are not made full by the arrival of all-inclusive cruisers. And the rest replies on the cruise companies to bring tourists.
Now, that being said, I personally think cruises can be enjoyed. How to cruise with minimal impact ? One simple rule: Scale down. Nowadays, there is a myriad of small-scaled cruises, ready to take you on the next big adventure. A cruise where the ship is not the destination. A cruise that is not only better for you, but also hold a promise of sustainability for future generations. A cruise to enjoy the many adventures destinations can offer while taking steps to preserve such destinations. And if you thought you would be limited, think again. Whether it’s the Caribbeans (http://islandwindjammers.com/sailing-ship-sagitta.aspx), the Norwegian fjords, the mysterious Mekong (http://www.ewaterways.com/ship/angkor%20pandaw/gallery/) , Alaska (https://www.uncruise.com/why-us/our-fleet/wilderness-explorer) or Spain (http://www.adventure-life.com/mediterranean/cruises/11438/glories-of-spain-portugal#overview )… Joe will find you the perfect low-impact cruise !
The one rule is simple. Then it’s all up to you to enjoy your cruise, free of guilt.
A note from Joe: It is with great pleasure that I introduce Ms. Marie Drouvin. Ms. Drouvin recently joined the WTJ team as a guest travel writer. I am very impressed at her work and am delighted to have her working with us. Please be sure to view her credentials and follow her on social media. You will be hearing much more from her soon!
About world Traveling Joe: Joe markets memberships in a traveling social club that enjoys over 1,000,000 members. He aggregates all things travel for super volume buying power. Members can choose from over 10,000 dream trips each year at prices that average 60% less than general internet pricing. PRICE GUARANTEE: If you purchase a trip and find it cheaper within 7 days, you get a FULL REFUND and go on the trip for free!
Credits: This article written by Ms. Marie Drouvin, Guest Writer. https://www.linkedin.com/in/marie-drouvin-528229140/
Main Photo: Joshua Barlow firstname.lastname@example.org ph: 202-460-9100