Cruise lines are leading the way toward a more sustainable future, investing in innovative technologies aboard our global fleet of cruise ships.
CLIA ocean-going cruise lines are sailing to a better future – pursuing fuel flexibility by investing today in propulsion technologies with conversion capabilities for the future.
Reducing emissions while at berth and at sea
Investing in advanced environmental technologies onboard
Partnering with cities and ports on sustainable destination management
Fueling the future
Renewable fuels and alternative energy sources
Various CLIA member lines are trialing, using, and incorporating into new-build ships the capability to run on renewable fuels, including biofuels and synthetic carbon fuels.
- Within the CLIA member fleet, four ships sailing today use renewable biofuel as an energy source—and an additional four new-build ships are expected to be configured for renewable biofuels.
- In addition, 24 ships have biofuel trials and two have synthetic carbon fuels trials.
- Seven new-build ships are anticipated to run on zero carbon fuels, including five ships envisioned to use green methanol and two envisioned to use green hydrogen.
As the cruise industry anticipates the transition to a future of sustainable, renewable fuels, several cruise ships are utilizing liquified natural gas (LNG). Ships designed with LNG engines and fuel supply systems are able to switch to bio or synthetic LNG in the future, with little or no modifications.
- Today, 48% of new-build capacity will be designed with LNG engines and fuel supply systems. These ships are part of a future generation of vessels that will be capable of running on renewable marine fuels once fuel providers are able to make them available at scale.
- Based on analyses by SeaLNG and others, LNG is currently the fossil fuel available at scale that has the best performance in reducing atmospheric emissions. LNG has virtually zero sulfur emissions and particulate emissions, reduces NOx emissions by approximately 85%, and achieves up to a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Sustainable Marine Fuels and Propulsion
The cruise industry is at the forefront of exploring sustainable marine fuels, including biofuels and other advanced approaches such as biodiesel, methanol, ammonia, hydrogen, and electric batteries.
More than 15% of the new vessels to be launched in the next five years will be equipped to incorporate fuel cells or batteries, as part of a hybrid approach towards lowering the carbon footprint of the voyage.
Shoreside Electricity (SSE) Capability
Plugging into shoreside electricity allows ship engines to be switched off, reducing emissions by up to 98%, depending on the mix of energy sources, while a ship is in port, according to studies conducted by a number of the world’s ports and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Cruise lines continue to make significant investments for cruise ships to connect to shoreside electricity—with the vast majority of new ships coming online between now and 2028 able to plug in to shoreside electricity. By 2028, more than 210 ships are scheduled to have shore-side electricity systems or will be configured to add shore-side power in the future.
Where can cruise ships connect?
While today, across the CLIA cruise-line member fleet, 120 ships (46% of the total and a 48% increase in the number of ships with SSE since 2022) are equipped to connect to shoreside electricity, only 33 ports worldwide have at least one cruise berth equipped with onshore power. This represents - just 2% of the world's ports where cruise ships can plug in and reduce emissions.
A sea of supporting innovations
Supporting these environmental technologies are a sea of supporting innovations
and practices that are helping the cruise industry sail to a greener future:
- Exhaust gas cleaning systems that improve air quality at sea and in port
- Air lubrication systems for ship hulls to reduce drag and fuel consumption for greater efficiency
- Energy-efficient engines that consume less fuel and reduce emissions.
- LED lighting - lasts 25 times longer and uses 80% less energy
- Special paint coatings for ship hulls that reduce fuel consumption by up to 5%
- Installation of tinted windows, higher efficiency appliances and HVAC systems and windows that capture and recycle heat
- Advanced recycling systems and practices that allows some ships to recycle 100% of waste
Charting the Future of Sustainable Cruise Travel
CLIA member lines have set inspiring sustainability goals and each year the CLIA member fleet becomes more efficient as our member lines embrace new technologies, innovations and, as available, the uptake of sustainable alternative fuels.
Read more about the work of the cruise industry to sail to an even better future in our latest publication Charting the Future of Sustainable Cruise Travel.View Now
Our journey by the numbers
We're measuring our journey toward a more sustainable future using aggregated data across CLIA’s global oceangoing cruise line membership. This data reflects the number of ships equipped with certain technologies, corresponding passenger capacities (lower berth at double occupancy) and the percentage of the entire fleet represented.Click for full data set