River cruises and the environment

Compared to cars, planes and ocean cruise ships, river cruising is one of the greenest ways to travel. The compact size of the vessels and limited number of passengers per sailing allows for smaller engines, resulting in significantly lower carbon emissions.

During port dockings, most ships are connected to shore-powered electricity to lower power consumption plus, the engines on the latest vessels reduce overall fuel consumption by running at maximum efficiency. There are no single-use plastics onboard our cruises and everything that can be, gets recycled. This even includes the water!

If our travels take us through the idyllic curves of the river, we at least need to think about protecting the environment and about the sustainability of our ships. Cruise ships exert influences on the environment in various ways. We are not only talking about air pollution from diesel engines, but unlike automobiles and airplanes, we also have to think about ballast water and wastewater. The complex logistics, maintenance, and upkeep of a cruise ship requires high standards of compatibility with the environment, which we really take to heart. Now we’ll show you the essential features of an environmentally-friendly cruise ship.

In terms of the sustainability of cruise ships, we can essentially point out three features: exhaust filtering, energy efficiency, and water/waste treatment.

Complex recycling and reprocessing

Did you know that used cooking oil can actually be re-used as fuel in the engines of modern river cruise ships? Our chartered ships are all outfitted with an intelligent recycling system. This of course also applies to the treatment of wastewater from sanitary facilities and laundry. Membrane sewage treatment systems and water-saving valves are crucial for this purpose.

Reduction of soot particles and CO2 conservation

The particles emitted by diesel engines, which are classified as carcinogenic by the World Health Organization, are largely removed by particle filters on the ships of our ocean carriers. In addition, the emissions are reduced by a green, CO2-neutral land-based electricity supply. In doing so, we no longer need to operate generators for the 110/220-volt electricity supply on our ships. Ultra-modern catalytic converters remove nitrogen oxides and CO2 from exhaust gases.  

Low energy losses and high efficiency

The repurposing of waste heat and power-heat coupling enable new ships, which are designed according to environmentally sound standards, to achieve an efficiency of nearly 90 percent. Aerodynamic construction, which produces the lowest air resistance possible, an intelligent climate-control system, and energy-saving insulation also contribute to high efficiency. Combined with the use of solar energy, all this achieves the lowest possible energy expenditure (and waste) for a nearly self-sustaining cruise.

Construction in European shipyards

Even while the ships are being built, the use of resources is limited. We exclusively travel on new or relatively new ships which are built in European shipyards, or which have been extensively modernized. We completely meet, and even surpass, environmental guidelines and water protection regulations such as the Rhine Vessel Inspection Regulation. 

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