Scrub it clean! – The eco-strategies of cruise shipping lines

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Cruise shipping is booming worldwide. Experts expect that more than 30 million people will be taking a cruise holiday by 2020 at the latest. But what about all these cruise liners’ exhaust emissions? Right now, the cleanest ships are to be found in US waters and the Baltic Sea where scrubbers are playing an increasingly important role in the eco-strategies of cruise shipping lines such as TUI Cruises.


MEIN SCHIFF 4 is a good example of how a ship’s exhaust emissions can be scrubbed clean. A scrubber is an air pollution control device that is used to remove particulates and gases from any kind of industrial exhaust stream. MEIN SCHIFF 4 has two scrubbers inside the smokestack that remove over 90% of the sulphuric dioxide as well as reducing the concentrations of nitric oxides, fine dust and carbon dioxide in the ship’s exhaust fumes. The pollutants are collected in a tank located in the bowels of the ship and transferred to an onshore treatment facility when MEIN SCHIFF 4 is in port. MEIN SCHIFF 1, one of the next cruise liners being built for TUI Cruises, will have an even more effective scrubber system featuring a catalytic converter with urea injection. That will function in similar fashion to the catalytic converters we have in cars and deliver a greater efficacy in scrubbing nitric oxides out of the ship’s exhaust fumes.