Cruise Is Sailing To A Better Future

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.

Hybrid Solutions

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.

Onshore Power Supply (OPS)

Onshore power supply allows ship engines to be switched off at berth for significant emissions reduction.

Plugging in to OPS when ships are in port allows ship engines to be switched off for significant emissions reductions of up to 98% (with all emissions covered), depending on the mix of energy sources, according to studies conducted by a number of the world’s ports and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

CLIA champions the advancement of onshore power infrastructure as an important component in the industry's pursuit of net zero emissions by 2050 and supports continued development of cost-effective infrastructure for clean shore-side electricity in ports where cruise ships call when the net impact delivers an overall emission reduction.

Until there are alternative fuels available at scale and at a competitive price, shore power is a critical component of the industry’s pursuit of its net-zero by 2050 ambitions.

Across the CLIA cruise line member fleet, the number of cruise ships equipped to connect to onshore power has more than doubled in the past five years and continues to grow. 

Today 120 ships are equipped to connect to shoreside electricity. By 2028, more than 210 ships will be sailing with the ability to plug in at port—representing 72% of all CLIA-cruise line member ships.

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 OPS, only 35 ports worldwide have at least one cruise berth equipped with onshore power. This represents just 3%of the world's cruiseports.

The industry will continue to support its port partners as they pursue and evolve their OPS sustainability offerings. 

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Protecting our oceans

As part of their overarching sustainability focus, cruise lines have committed to not discharging untreated sewage anywhere in the world, during normal operations. In addition, cruise lines utilize Advanced Wastewater Treatment Systems that operate to a higher standard than shoreside treatment plans in many coastal cities and go well beyond international requirements.

  • 100% of new ships on order are specified to have advanced wastewater treatment systems
  • 80% of the current CLIA ocean-going cruise line fleet capacity is served by advanced wastewater treatment systems (a 12% increase over 2022).
  • Across the CLIA cruise-line member fleet, 202 ships (77% of the total), representing 80% of global passenger capacity (a 12% increase from 2022) are equipped with advanced wastewater treatment systems.
  • All CLIA-member cruise line new-build ships are specified for advanced wastewater treatment systems— which will bring the total to 242 ships, representing 80% of the fleet and 84% of global capacity.
  • In addition, since 2019, the number of ships with advanced wastewater treatment systems capable of meeting the more stringent standards of the Baltic Sea Special Area has increased 167%. Today, nearly one-third of CLIA member ships have this capability.

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.

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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.

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Policy Statement Regarding the IMO’s Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII)

CLIA, and five other maritime associations, each dedicated to the pursuit of net zero emissions by 2050, share this policy statement regarding the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) as part of our collective commitment to safe, sustainable shipping on clean oceans.