Celebrity Ship in Ketchikan

Celebrity has installed advanced stack emission control systems on its Alaska ships. These newly developed scrubbers eliminate 98 percent of emissions.

Ships sailing within emission control areas (ECAs) – including all that visit Alaska – must either use fuel limited to 0.10 percent sulfur or technology to achieve equivalent sulfur emission goals. Many of cruise operators have aggressively pursued the installation of stack emission control system technology or converting to cleaner-burning emission LNG.

About a third of the existing fleet now have the new scrubbers, according to Bud Darr, former senior vice president at the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). That number includes most ships that call on Alaska.

Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, is installing the systems on more than 70 vessels. Royal Caribbean has completed an agreement with North American authorities for 19 ships they will equip with scrubber systems. Others, including Princess and Holland America Line, also have scrubber installations projects underway and nearing completion. Retrofits can be extremely complex and cumbersome, especially with the largest types of scrubbers.

Click here to watch a short video on these scrubbers in Alaska.

Alaska was also the first cruise destination to partner with cruise lines to allow ships to plug into local shoreside power while docked in communities with sufficient infrastructure. In Juneau, shore power is available at one dock, allowing the vessel moored there to reduce emissions by plugging into the city’s hydroelectric power. This practice, which results in a significant reduction in fuel emissions, has been adopted by cruise ports around the world.

Alaska cruise vessels use onboard opacity-monitoring technology to observe air emissions. Data collected is useful in allowing environmental engineers to continue to improve their air systems.