Quiz about Cruising to a Sustainable Future
Quiz about Cruising to a Sustainable Future

Cruising to a Sustainable Future Quiz


The cruise industry has long been seen as an environmental disaster with a huge carbon footprint. But cruise lines are reforming their operations and are now leading the way with some innovative and sustainable technology and practices.

A multiple-choice quiz by Team Phoenix Rising. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
leith90
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
410,669
Updated
Oct 26 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
106
Last 3 plays: DannyGM (7/10), DeepHistory (9/10), Guest 172 (9/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. The majority of the maritime shipping industry uses heavy oil and diesel or gas turbines to power their ships, but these are not sustainable. Which of the following has NOT been broached as a way of reducing carbon emissions from cruise ships? Hint

Solar Power
Steam
Shoreside electricity
Wind sails

2. While gas exhaust is a global problem, which areas are at particular risk from cruise exhaust? Hint

Arctic and Antarctic regions
Shallow bays and reefs
Equatorial islands
Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas

3. Older cruise ships use a propeller and shaft system to push through the water. What new propulsion system sits outside the hull and can turn 360 degrees to give directional momentum? Hint

Nuclear propulsion systems
Voith-Shneider cyclorotor
Azimuth thrusters
Oscillating flappers

4. There are four types of waste water on ships. Which one is the sewerage waste? Hint

Ballast water
Greywater
Blackwater
Bilge water

5. One of the biggest users of power and the production of greywater is the ships laundry. Which items are responsible for the majority of the load? Hint

Crew uniforms
Bedding
Towels
Tablecloths and napkins

6. What happens to the empty cans and bottles on board the ship? Hint

Thrown overboard
Collected together and offloaded in port
Bottles are collected and taken for refund ashore
Sorted, compacted and sent to recycling centres in port

7. The global push to ban plastic bags and single-use plastic items is gaining momentum around the world. Are cruise lines also doing their bit?

Yes
No

8. A major drawcard to cruising is the food, and may there be lots of it. What happens to the uneaten food? Hint

Pulverised, treated and released
Leftovers are used to make subsequent meals wherever possible
The crew eat the leftovers
Donated to charity

9. Cruise lines are also prioritizing wildlife and ecosystem conservation to protect their destination ports. Which is one way cruise ships are able to protect fragile ecosystems and reefs? Hint

Not dropping anchor
Building bigger docks for bigger ships
Running tender boats up to shore
Using local port tug boats

10. Who is the person responsible for ensuring each cruise ship is running as efficiently and eco-friendly as possible? Hint

The ship's Captain
Chief Environmental Officer
Cruise Director
Compliance Officer


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The majority of the maritime shipping industry uses heavy oil and diesel or gas turbines to power their ships, but these are not sustainable. Which of the following has NOT been broached as a way of reducing carbon emissions from cruise ships?

Answer: Steam

Cruise ships rely on diesel-electric, electric or gas turbine engines to provide power for propulsion, navigation and life on board. These engines use heavy fuel oil (HFO) at an astronomical rate and, of necessity, some large ships have a storage capacity of 4.5 to 9 million litres (1 to 2 million gallons) of fuel. This fuel is not only toxic to the environment if it leaks, it also contains high amounts of sulphur which them produces sulphur dioxide which is a major contributor to acid rain. Another by-product of HFO and MGO burning is nitrogen oxide, which can cause serious lung diseases. HFO is also thick and viscous so if a spill does happen, it is hard to clean up and has a devastating effect on wildlife.

The Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA) is making progress in implementing sustainable technologies and practice and "are making an industry-wide emissions commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2030." (Cruise International 2020).

One proposed way of using less fuel is by using shoreside electricity (created by renewable energy) while in port, so the ship's engines can be turned off. It is also proposed that this electricity could be stored in batteries and used for power on board.

Solar power is also being trialled. Many European river cruises are installing solar panels on the flat roofs of their ships to provide free and sustainable power. The possibility of using wind power is also being looked into. One eco-project in Japan, the Aquarius Eco-ship Project, is using foldable, rigid 'sails' on board a ship to reduce fuel consumption. These are combined with solar panels to provide electricity on board.

Hybrid power is also beginning to be used. This form of power comes from a combination of liquified natural gas, electricity and batteries.

Some ships are converting from HFO to marine gas oil (MGO) which is more environmentally friendly. New technology is also helping ship to run more efficiently, thus reducing the amount of duel needed.

Phoenix Rising's leith90 propelled this question into the quiz.
2. While gas exhaust is a global problem, which areas are at particular risk from cruise exhaust?

Answer: Arctic and Antarctic regions

The by-products of burning heavy oil, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide produces a black carbon emission (soot) which is expelled through the ship's funnel. This soot is having a heavy impact on the Arctic in particular as it lands on the ice and permafrost ground where it absorbs warmth from the sun. This leads to melting of the snow and ice and the run-off warms the land and oceans. Studies have shown that these greenhouse gas emissions would contribute to increase global warming significantly by 2030.

Cruise ships were the first of all globally operating ships to install scrubbers to reduce their carbon emissions. These scrubbers were fitted inside the funnel to neutralise the exhaust gases. In 2022 there are two types of scrubbers - an open system or a closed system. The open system was adopted by older ships and uses sea water to clean the gases. Sea water is pumped into a tank and gases forced through it, removing (trapping) the harmful emissions so cleaner exhaust gas is released. The contaminated water is then filtered, and the sludge collected for disposal ashore.

Newer ships have a closed-system scrubbers which use fresh water and alkaline chemicals to neutralise the exhaust. This fresh water is then recycled back into the scrubber. Older ships, many of which could not be retrofitted with scrubbers, were sold for scrap during the 2020 pandemic when cruising was on hold.

Hurtigruten's MS Roald Amundsen became the world's first hybrid-powered ship, running on liquid natural gas and can also run off battery power for an hour at a time. As these cruises operate primarily in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, the company is committed to reducing their own carbon footprint and is increasing their fleet of hybrid-powered ships.

Phoenix Rising's leith90 scrubbed this question into shape.
3. Older cruise ships use a propeller and shaft system to push through the water. What new propulsion system sits outside the hull and can turn 360 degrees to give directional momentum?

Answer: Azimuth thrusters

The first azimuth thrusters installed on cruise ships were the Finnish brand, Azipod, a term that has been used incorrectly as a synonym for all such thrusters. Initially developed for icebreakers, the increased fuel efficiency and manoeuvrability was quickly recognized as applicable to cruise ships.
The Carnival Elation, launched in 1998, was the first cruise ship fitted with an Azipod propulsion system; most new cruise ships are built with azimuth thrusters.

In addition to improved fuel efficiency, noise is reduced because the system is completely outside the hull and there are no gears to generate noise, and no stern thruster is required. Vessels with these units can stop more quickly than those with shaft driven propeller systems; this is another way fuel consumption is reduced. Because of the increased manoeuvrability, ships can directly back out of ports or use a much smaller turning radius, causing less disruption to a fragile marine environment and again lower fuel consumption.

The Voith-Shneider cyclorotor is an older type of azimuth thruster that is generally installed on ferries and tugboats, not cruise ships. Oscillating flappers are pedal-driven systems on kayaks, and nuclear propulsion is used primarily on military ships.

Player pusdoc thrust this question into the quiz.
4. There are four types of waste water on ships. Which one is the sewerage waste?

Answer: Blackwater

Cruise ships can carry thousands of people, each of whom uses 200-250 litres (53-66 gallons) of water per day - which amounts to enormous quantities of waste water that must be disposed of.

Of the four types of waste water found on a ship, blackwater (which comes from toilets and the ship's medical facilities, and is obviously the most polluted) requires biological or chemical treatment and disinfection before it is safe to discharge. All modern cruise ships must have their own wastewater treatment plant on board.

In order to treat sewage properly prior to its being discharged, several steps must be followed. Blackwater treatment stage takes place in bioreactors deep into the bowels of the ship, where the waste in blackwater is filtered out and digested by bacteria. The treated water is then disinfected with chlorination or UV radiation, and becomes environmentally safe to offload. The sludge removed from the water during treatment is stored in tanks for further processing, or pumped ashore for disposal.

While in the past it was not uncommon for cruise ships to dump their waste into the sea, in recent years international regulations have become much stricter. Per international maritime law, sewage cannot be discharged directly into the sea - unless it is treated, and the ship is at least 4 nautical miles from the nearest land.

Greywater (the water from sinks, showers, and laundries) is stored in separate tanks, since this waste water requires minimal filtration before it can be discharged into the sea. Bilge water results from condensation from the engine rooms, and must also be treated carefully in order to separate any traces of oil residue from the water. Ballast water, on the other hand, is seawater taken in by a ship to increase stability, and stored in appropriate tanks: since it may contain microorganisms that may disrupt other ecosystems, it needs to be filtered and disinfected before it can be expelled from the ship.

LadyNym of Phoenix Rising's Red Crew, who took her first cruise just a few months ago, was fascinated to learn about what goes on behind the scenes on a cruise ship.
5. One of the biggest users of power and the production of greywater is the ships laundry. Which items are responsible for the majority of the load?

Answer: Towels

Deep down in the bowels of the ship is where the hard work takes place in order to ensure the guests' comfort so they have an enjoyable cruise. Hundreds of staff can inhabit tiny windowless cabins for up to 7 months at a stretch, providing the services that a massive cruise liner requires. One of these tasks is laundry. With ships that can house up to 6680 passengers and an extra 2200 crew the amount of dirty washing that is produced is phenomenal, especially on embarkation day.

The laundry is usually located below the waterline and will be equipped with huge industrial washers and tunnel dryers. The system is set up to be conscious of the environment and to use existing resources. Water that condenses from the air conditioner system is piped to the laundry to be used in the machines, after being heated up using heat that is produced by the engines that power the ship. The detergent is phosphate free in order to minimize its impact on the sea.
Passengers are encouraged to reduce the number of towels that they use, as this is the biggest laundry item. As well as those used within the cabins, the on-board spas and water attractions also produce towel laundry.

Some of the restaurants onboard have moved away from the usage of tablecloths, looking for a slightly more casual atmosphere, which has a happy benefit of reducing the laundry load. The ships still use cloth napkins, as the washing of these is less harmful than the use of paper napkins.

Red Crew's smpdit made a clean sweep of this question.
6. What happens to the empty cans and bottles on board the ship?

Answer: Sorted, compacted and sent to recycling centres in port

Not surprisingly, cruise ships produce tonnes of empty containers, particularly cans and bottles (both glass and plastic). Since almost all of these containers are recyclable, cruise ships provide separate bins for cans and bottles in bars and other public areas, as well as a separate basket or compartment for paper in offices and staterooms.

Glass is separated into different colours and crushed, while clean paper and card are baled. Metal and aluminium cans (are first separated) and plastics are compacted in special presses, then taken to approved recycling facilities in port. Non-recyclable garbage, such as paper or card tainted by food, is burned in incinerators, and the ashes offloaded in the home port.

There are also dedicated containers for more specialized materials, such as oil and oily rags or paint. The Marine Pollution Code of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) forbids any ship from dumping oil, ashes, or plastics into the sea.

LadyNym of Phoenix Rising's Red Crew wrote this question, drawing also on her personal experience as a cruiser.
7. The global push to ban plastic bags and single-use plastic items is gaining momentum around the world. Are cruise lines also doing their bit?

Answer: Yes

Cruise ships are floating hotels, and would have previously provided individually wrapped items such as bathing products, water bottles, straws, and condiments. They are now stepping up and re-evaluating their practices. Where alternatives are available the companies are making more eco-friendly substitutions. Instead of single use plastic water bottles, water and other beverages are being distributed in aluminium cans or plant-based cartons, and refills from water fountains are encouraged.

Single use sachets of condiments such as ketchup are replaced by larger dispensers, salt and pepper cellars adorn the tables and plastic cutlery is now made from bamboo. Straws are of course being made from recyclable materials such as paper and are not given out routinely. They are instead available on request

Red Crew's smpdit would happily live with refillable wine in eco-friendly packaging.
8. A major drawcard to cruising is the food, and may there be lots of it. What happens to the uneaten food?

Answer: Pulverised, treated and released

There is a lot of food on a cruise, as demanded by tourists paying good money for the cruising experience. While you would expect a lot of wastage, the cruise industry has become very proficient at calculating how much food is required, and overall there is much less waste than expected.

Left-over food is first sorted, so all foreign objects (satay sticks, paper etc) are removed and the rest is then pulverised in large industrial grinders. It is then reduced, cleaned and sterilized. There are then two ways to dispose of this organic waste. The first is to mix it with water and pump into the sea. Research has shown that it is safe to pump this waste into the ocean as fish food.

Cruise lines are now turning to even more environmentally friendly options. The treated food waste is offloaded at port where it is taken to be turned into soil fertiliser or (in a Finnish initiative) turned into biogas used in vehicles. The Norwegian Cruise Line is also looking into ways this biogas can be used to power their ships.

Despite popular myth, the crew do not eat the leftovers. With the crew representing several different countries and religions, not to mention the occupations and caloric requirements of various crew (a dancer or laundry/engine room worker compared to those manning the office), the crew's menu must cater to all of their requirements.

In days (long) gone by it was not unusual to find last night's roast recycled into a curry, but not anymore. After food has been cooked, even if it is left totally uneaten, it must be discarded. The cruising industry is heavily regulated and food standards are scrutinised as a component of the regulatory process.

Leftovers are never donated to charity. Again, regulatory processes prevent this no matter how admirable the cause. You can't reuse leftovers and you can't give them away. There are also restrictions when in port as any food prepared on the ship cannot be removed from the ship.

This question was written by Phoenix Rising Team member 1nn1.
9. Cruise lines are also prioritizing wildlife and ecosystem conservation to protect their destination ports. Which is one way cruise ships are able to protect fragile ecosystems and reefs?

Answer: Not dropping anchor

Some ports of call do not have docks, or do not have docks large enough to accommodate large ships. In those ports, ships traditionally drop the anchor and ferry the passengers to the pier in tender boats. These anchors which can weigh more than 27,000kg (60,000lbs) imbed into the seabed and as the currents and winds push the ship around, the anchor and chain abrades the seabed and digs up sediment. A study released in May 2022 reported that the constant movement leaves long-term 'broom-stick' type abrasions that are still visible four years later. Marine life is killed off and carbon stores are released into the water.

Newer ships now use a Dynamic Positioning System (DPS) and this combined with the use of azimuth thrusters can keep the ship's position stable without having to drop anchor.

There are other ways cruises are trying to help with the environment. Some cruise lines partner with outside agencies, such as World Wildlife Fund, to promote ocean conservation. Some ships collect data for climate change research, track polar bears, and assist in DNA collection for critically endangered turtles. Many tours at local ports promote conservation education. Various ports (like Komodo Island) will not allow disembarkation unless you are doing a sanctioned tour, while others, such as Venice, have banned cruise ships altogether.

Jaknginger is an avid cruiser and has seen many positive changes from the cruise lines over the years.
10. Who is the person responsible for ensuring each cruise ship is running as efficiently and eco-friendly as possible?

Answer: Chief Environmental Officer

The Environmental Officer reports directly to the Heads of Departments for some issues and to the ship's Captain for others. The job functions include monitoring compliance, training of staff, inspections, dealing with environmentally sensitive accidents, and as with all jobs, attending meetings.

Preparation for the career includes training in safety, firefighting, security and first aid. A science-related bachelor's degree is preferred, and maritime certification is expected. The Environmental Officer oversees other crew members, including those who sort and dispose of garbage. Pest management, ballast water handling, engine oil disposal, sewage and gray water all are the responsibility of the Environmental Officer.

Player pusdoc disposed of this question in an environmentally sound manner.
Source: Author leith90

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor stedman before going online.
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