Environmentally aware, sustainable operations

Nothing could be more amazing than discovering planet Earth and its beauty on a cruise. In order to preserve this beauty for a long time to come, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has attributed top priority to the protection of the environment. Because exploring new shores also means assuming responsibility.

We set ourselves high standards in terms of acting in an environmentally compatible and sustainable manner by means of various measures – whenever possible even exceeding the legal stipulations. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is the first cruise operator, for instance, to offer its guests the opportunity to offset their cruise-only CO2 emissions. Beyond this, we are the first cruise company in the world to equip the newly built MS EUROPA 2 with a catalyst which reduces the nitrogen oxide emissions by almost 95 percent and partially also filters soot.

On-board technology and ship management

The ships of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises are equipped with modern environmental technology, maintained in the context of regular shipyard stays and enhanced with state-of-the-art technological features. Among other attributes, all of the ships have seawater desalination systems for water treatment purposes as well as a biological sewage treatment system for wastewater, TBT-free underwater coatings and modern waste incinerators. Moreover, the waste is separated. In the case of the newly built MS EUROPA 2, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has furthermore chosen the latest in ship technology, already using the most advanced and environmentally friendly technology in the process of building the ship.

The responsibility for the management of our fleet of ships is assumed by Hapag-Lloyd AG, which is certified in accordance with standards such as ISO 14001 (environmental management) and ISO 9001 (quality management).

Efficient cruising, fuel

In the context of the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises route management, all routes are calculated on the basis of an economical average speed which is significantly lower than the ship’s maximum performance. This is because by not sailing at the highest possible speeds measured in knots, the consumption level is lowered by approximately one third – currently one of the best and most effective methods of reducing the fuel consumption and thus the emissions.

Beyond this, we use fuels with a maximum sulphur content of 0.1 percent while the vessels are berthed in any German or European ports. Compared to the standard upper limit of 1.5 percent generally applicable to date, this also means a 93 percent reduction in emissions.

In the sensitive cruising areas of the Arctic and Antarctica, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has been using low-emission diesel for a number of years – long before the corresponding regulation came into effect for Antarctica (2011) and despite considerably higher costs. Since 2011, vessels may neither use nor carry heavy fuel oils in Antarctica.

Polar regions: sensitive cruising areas

Anyone who has visited the polar regions Antarctica or the Arctic knows that these fascinating ice deserts belong to the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world. For this reason, they have been placed under special ecological protection. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is an active member of the IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) – a voluntary association of Antarctica tour operators who have joined up to promote ecologically sustainable tourism while at the same time benefiting from the experiences of all the members. We have also been committed to a respectful way of dealing with the flora and fauna of the Arctic for several decades, and adhere to the strict code of conduct for visitors to the polar regions.

Our expedition ships HANSEATIC and BREMEN have been using more environmentally sound diesel in the sensitive cruising areas of the Arctic and Antarctica for years – i.e. long before the corresponding regulation came into effect for Antarctica and despite considerably higher costs. Since 2011, vessels may neither use nor carry heavy fuel oils in Antarctica.

Antarctica and the Arctic are no mass tourism destinations. It is very important to book this kind of holiday with a tour operator who is experienced, well informed and dedicated to promoting the appropriate conduct. A voyage to these parts of the world also inspires many passengers to commit themselves to the preservation of this unique wilderness. Consequently, some tourists become ambassadors for the protection of the environment. Our aim is to preserve the pristine state of these highly sensitive ecosystems.

Code of Conduct in Polar Regions

Compensation of CO2 emissions

In cooperation with the climate protection organisation atmosfair, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is the first cruise operator to offer its guests the opportunity to offset their cruise-only CO2 emissions. Using an online climate calculator, the passengers can ascertain the relevant climate protection contribution of their cruise in advance and compensate the remaining inevitable emissions. A quarter of the compensation amount is paid by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

climate calculator

Cooperations: joint commitment to the environment and social issues

The protection of the environment should be the joint objective of all of us – within the own company, with the commitment of the guests and within the sector. As joint efforts generally lead to greater success, we purposefully cooperate with the following partners:

  • Social projects and environmental issues: Exclusive partnership with Stiftunglife
  • Compensation of CO2 emissions: Joint climate calculator with atmosfair
  • Cross-sectoral commitment: Sustainability initiative Futouris e.V.
  • Protection of the polar regions: Commitment to the preservation of Antarctica