Letter – Catering to costly cruises

A typical cruise ship has a 10MW to 70MW diesel power station on board, and uses in excess of 2,000 MWh/year in energy.

Catering to costly cruises

A typical cruise ship has a 10MW to 70MW diesel power station on board, and uses in excess of 2,000 MWh/year in energy. The power demand for a cruise ship during berthing is in excess of 10 MVA. Such a power demand requires multiple parallel feeds at medium voltage to match with the ship’s connection point voltage. Royal Caribbean, which I worked for as a Chief Engineer, is offering solar installations on each ship, rated at 0.1MW and generate less than 100 MWh/year. In other words, it’s a toy and a PR stunt to divert attention from the serious environmental damage a cruise ship inflicts.

Given the demands on infrastructure and the risk of an eroding on-shore experience, fewer ports are in a position to accommodate cruise lines. At the same time, the public sector’s scrutiny of industry practices related to the environment, taxation, security, safety and labor mounts. Despite these challenges, many cruise lines report record levels of profitability, therefore I do not recommend Victoria bending over too far to accommodate them.

William Perry,


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