A below-deck look at reycling and wastewater treatment on Holland America’s Zaandam

Katie Farden at InvestigateWest has a revealing look at the recycling operations of an Alaska cruise ship. The scale of a cruise ship amplifies the environmental impact and the efforts required to minimize that impact are equally massive.

While the 1,432 passengers aboard Holland America’s Zaandam, are enjoying a five-course meal at one of the ship’s plush dining venues or unwinding with a hot-stone massage in the vessels’ full-service spa, crew are bustling below, sorting out tons of waste and recyclables.

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Environmentally Conscious Cruising – Which Ships are Not Green

Cruise ship haze over Juneau, Alaska

Cruise ship haze over Juneau, Alaska

If you’re considering a cruise to Alaska you’re probably more in tune with the environment than most. Alaska is mostly wilderness so we hope you’re not going to Alaska to just to shop for Jade in Ketchikan.

So let’s consider which cruise ships have received Environmental Violations in Alaska (1999-2009) when making your travel plans.

Virgin Holidays gives Responsible Tourism awards each year, with 2008 being the first for Cruise or Ferry Operator (Holland America Lines won) and Royal Caribbean gaining top honors for 2009.

Friends of the Earth have just released their 2010 Cruise Report Card.

Parnell to Drop Alaska Cruise Tax by 59%

Alaska’s cruise passenger head tax could end up falling from to $46 to $19.50 on most inside passage itineraries, according to the final bill Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell submitted late last week.

The 59% reduction would more than double the 25% cut that Parnell proposed less than two weeks ago, because the new bill contains a provision to offset local head taxes in Juneau and Ketchikan, of $8 and $7, respectively.

Cruise Blog at USA Today