Two super green passenger ships are going to head for our shores with visitors to the World Cup in June.
Holland America Line demonstrates its commitment to responsible environmental practices through a comprehensive fleet-wide program that emphasises waste reduction and recycling, compliance with all international environmental guidelines and a decision to incorporate cleaner-burning propulsion technology into the line’s new ships. Holland America Line’s ships currently meet or exceed all provisions of the international regulations governing the environmental management of marine operations.
The two premium luxury cruise liners ms Westerdam and ms Noordam will be calling at the ports of Port Elizabeth, Durban and Cape Town. Guests cruising this way is guaranteed five-star hospitality to the final match on 11 July 2010. Local visitors can also use these luxury ships to travel between these 3 ports.
Advanced certification and purification
Their system was certified to conform to the ISO 14001 standard in June 2006, and re-certified in 2009 by an independent registrar – Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance. This certification illustrates robust environmental standards, commitment to continual improvement and pollution prevention – an overall responsibility as stewards of the environment. It requires an Environmental Officer on board each ship to provide training and to oversee shipboard compliance with environmental laws, regulations, industry standards and company policies. This officer reports directly to the ship’s Master. Each ship in the fleet is further monitored and evaluated by aggressive environmental audit programs.
All crew members receive basic environmental training to assure they know the requirements and procedures necessary to protect the environment. Every aspect of vessel operations is performed in a manner to minimize the impact on the environment. This includes food preparation, hotel operations, navigation and ship operations on the bridge, engineering and maintenance activities in the engine room.
One Ocean Club chartered these ships as market leaders when it came to seagoing environmental protection. Holland America Line pioneered the use of “cascade bilge-water treatment systems” in which oily bilge water is treated by two separate systems before being discharged overboard in conformance with international, state or local requirements. Bilge water is the engine maintenance run off and condensation that collects in the ship’s bilge. Enhanced maintenance practices also serve to minimize generation of bilge water.
This line is an industry leader in the adoption of advanced waste water purification systems for the treatment of sewage and domestic wastes. These systems surpass the quality of most municipal treatment systems, and produce an effluent that is clean enough to meet the drinking water standards in many communities ashore.
Tap into cleaner shore power
To reduce engine emissions, Holland America Line has outfitted five of its ships to use shore power: ms Westerdam, ms Noordam, ms Oosterdam, ms Amsterdam, ms Zuiderdam. All five ships can connect to shore power to reduce both fuel consumption and air emissions. They buy and use electricity (“shore power”) instead of burning ship-board fuels while stationed at ports with such capability.
Holland America Line’s “Avoiding Whale Strikes” program and their leadership and commitment to the conservation of whales have been recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA’s Fisheries Service) with a Conservation Partnership Award, part of a newly established Sustainable Fisheries Leadership Awards Program. To assist in the recovery and ensure the safety of all whale species they, in cooperation with NOAA’s Fisheries Service and the National Parks Service, developed and launched the comprehensive and interactive computer-based training program. All deck officers on Holland America Line vessels have taken the course and the program is being shared with the cruise and maritime community.
Many measures are taken to minimize or reduce solid waste volumes. Approximately eight tons of garbage are collected onboard each ship during a seven day cruise. They employs many “best practices” to help minimize and manage this waste.
When purchasing products and material for use on vessels, they take an aggressive approach to ordering the right quantities, and to minimize the use of packaging, especially plastics. For example, the ships use paper or washable cups, wooden stirrers, paper bags and glass or metal packaging whenever possible. To further reduce plastic packaging, bulk dispensers were installed for individual condiments and cream. Only products packaged in recycled packaging is purchased. Printed matter is on recycled paper when available. On board amenities are free of animal products and have not been tested on animals.
Clean and green
Cleaning products are selected to be environmentally friendly, while providing the most effective sanitation programme available. In addition, bulk formulators and dispensing systems have been installed onboard to dramatically reduce the generation of packing and container waste. These products not only get the job done, but are compatible with their advanced waste water treatment systems to complement that technology.
There is a strict protocol for garbage handling. All crew members are trained to use products fully, reuse when possible, and to sort garbage properly when disposing of material. All ships also have crew members that are especially trained and responsible for final sorting, processing, storing, recycling and disposal.
All garbage is first separated into categories: food waste, glass, cans, paper, cardboard, cooking oil and wooden pallets. Everything that can be recycled is sent ashore for recycling, depending on the available shore-side facilities. This way waste volumes are significantly reduced.
Less hazardous materials
Using new technology to reduce hazardous materials, both the quantity and toxicity of hazardous materials used on board are reduced. For example, Perchloroethylene-based dry cleaning machines are being replaced with soy, orange and banana oil based “wet cleaning” machines. Also, on-board x-ray facilities have been converted to digital technology, which will further reduce the use and disposal of hazardous materials. Onboard photo labs are equipped with a silver recovery system that removes the silver content from spent photo-chemicals, allowing both the silver and the spent chemicals to be further treated or recycled. Ships have also transitioned to digital photography equipment as that technology becomes more widespread among guests. All chemical waste materials are landed ashore for disposition in strict compliance with shore-side regulations and tracked using a computerized system.
While aboard, guests are invited to view the environmental stewardship video. Presented by the Environmental Officer, this 20-minute video describes their environmental protection practices, and is followed by a question-and-answer period.
One Ocean Club is proud to be associated with such a strong environmental partner and to deliver quality cruises for tourists to come to South Africa during the World Cup in 2010.