Carnival Cruise Ships Generate 10 Times More Pollution Than All of Europe’s Cars

There are at least 260 million cars on the roads across Europe

Carnival is paying pollution fines yet again. (Andy Newman/ Carnival Cruise Lines/ Getty)
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Carnival Cruise’s motto is “Fun for All.” Excepting — as is so often the case — Mother Nature.

According to a study conducted by European think tank Transport & Environment that looked at 203 cruise ships sailing European waters in 2017, the company’s large boats create 10 times more pollution than the 260 million licensed vehicles in Europe, Fast Company reported. Currently, Carnival and its subsidiaries (Princess, e.g.) are the proud owners of seven of the 20 biggest offenders on the open seas.

These liners are emitting sulfur dioxide — which causes both acid rain and lung cancer — while also promoting over-tourism and routinely crashing into ports and dumping fuel into the ocean. The report found that the docks of Barcelona, Palma Mallorca and Venice were the most heavily affected by these pollutants.

“Sulfur dioxide emissions from cars was 3.2m kt versus 62m kt from cruise ships,” the study found, “with Carnival accounting for half that.”

This new study comes just on the heels of Carnival’s agreement on Monday to pay a $20 million fine for dumping sewage and plastic waste directly into the ocean. “The company apparently tried to cover up its environmental misdeeds by falsifying records, fixing problems right before inspections, and even trying to get the U.S. Coast Guard to redefine the terms of its environmental compliance plan,” Fast Company reported.

Carnival has a long list of environmental offenses dating back to 1993. In 2016, Carnival was brought to court and pleaded guilty to dumping oily waste from its Princess Line ships and was fined $40 million and given a five-year probation period. The company admitted to violating its probation on Monday.

“You not only work for employees and shareholders,” Judge Patricia Seitz told Carnival CEO Arnold Donald in her decision, “You are a steward of the environment. The environment needs to be a core value, and I hope and pray it becomes your daily anthem.”

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