Sustainability on a cruise | How to travel in a more sustainable way.

The topic of cruising and sustainability often comes up and before/during my first cruise I did some research as to how one can cruise more sustainably. Much of this (as well as choosing which company to cruise with) actually comes down to decisions you can make during the cruise, and I wanted to highlight some of these below.

1. Choose to sail from a local port.

In terms of your carbon footprint then flying, especially short haul is one of the worst things you can do. Whilst we all do want to reduce the impact we are having on the planet, most families would be unlikely to forego their Summer holiday, but a holiday where you don’t have to fly is definitely an improvement. I chose to sail on the Sapphire Princess which departed in Southampton meaning I was able to get the train to my port of departure rather than having to fly in. It was very convenient for me and avoided the need to spend more money on a flight, as well as avoiding the airport stress.

2. Recycle

As well as recycling facilities around the ship I was very pleased to learn that everything you put in a bin in your cabin is separated for recycling. So even if you don’t get chance to put your bottles/papers etc into a designated recycling area, then it will all be separated and recycled anyway.

3. Don’t get sheets changed daily

On cruises as with hotels then your sheets will be changed daily and your towels will be replaced, cutting down on your cabin’s laundry is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint however. On board the Sapphire Princess I was able to speak to the friendly staff member assigned to my room and alert them that I didn’t need a change every day.

Equally just by folding and rehanging your towels you’ll be able to make it clear that you don’t need them replacing. This might seem like a small step but if everybody on the ship did the same it would make a big difference.

4. Don’t waste food

Food and dining is obviously a large part of any cruise, but despite all the delicious options you’d be surprised how much food is wasted in any restaurant both at sea and on land.

Much of this lies in us all having eyes bigger than our stomachs, and over ordering. It actually takes a while for your stomach to know that you’re full and especially with a delicious buffet it’s easy to over-order. Do as the Europeans do and take your time with your food, choose a few smaller plates and then go back for more helpings when you’re sure you have room!

5. Use fillable stations instead of plastic bottles

Thanks to the David Attenborough effect most people and now trying their hardest to cut down on single-use plastic.

Take a reusable bottle on board and ask staff members to fill it up for you rather than opting for plastic bottles. Equally don’t forget that on many cruise lines the water in the taps is of very high quality and perfectly safe to drink. Try filling up your reusable water bottle from the tap in your cabin before bed, adding a couple of slices of fresh lemon before putting it in your room fridge to cool for the next day.

On board the Sapphire Princess there were plenty of areas where you could get a drink without the need for any single use plastic.

6. Don’t flush waste down the toilet
This is a steadfast rule for general living; it’s always better to put waste in the provided bin rather than flushing it. As previously mentioned rubbish in the bins is sorted and recycled so better to put it in there to ensure that any ‘black’ and ‘grey’ water is actually cleaner when dropped in accordance with the law.

This article was written in AD partnership with Princess Cruises but as always all the opinions are my own.

Published by Alex Outhwaite

I'm a full time Travel TV presenter. @alexouthwaite For PR & collaboration enquiries -

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