Since 2006, Rock the Earth has been advocating for the cruise ship industry to clean up their act.  As massive polluters of our oceans and the atmosphere, we found out first-hand the impact that cruise ships have through our work on Cloud 9’s Jam Cruise in 2006 and 2007.  As we tried to “green” these massive, floating cities, we discovered that sustainability could only occur in small measures for individual, charter cruises and that the real source of the problems – the cruise lines themselves – was where our efforts needed to go if we were to cause a change in industry practices.

Since then, we have turned our attention to advocating that fans, artists and promoters of music cruises utilize their voices to call for systematic changes in the industry. Over the years, we have worked with other organizations like Friends of the Earth and Reverb to apply pressure on companies such as Sixthman and Cloud 9, two of the most prominent music cruise promoters, to leverage their contracts to work with the most-environmentally responsible cruise lines.

After years of assisting and advising Cloud 9 in this regard (whose Jam Cruise and Holy Ship! events are enjoyed by nearly 10,000 music fans each year), we’re happy to announce that the promoter has elected to switch cruise lines from MSC Cruises (an “F” rated cruise line according to Friends of the Earth’s annual cruise ship report card) to one of the better-rated cruise lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL).  Since all of NCL’s ships maintain the most advanced waste-water treatment systems available, they received an A rating for sewage treatment. Further, NCL received an A rating for the company’s compliance with water quality requirements, based upon its record of reporting relatively few water quality violations.  Finally, with regard to air quality, the company has several ships that have shore-power plug-in capability, including the Epic (the ship utilized for the Holy Ship! charters) and the Pearl (the ship utilized for Jam Cruise).  Emissions scrubbers are expected to be installed by year’s end, thereby greatly reducing the ships’ impact on air quality. Note:  The Pearl’s overall “C” rating in the FOE cruise ship report card is expected to improve once confirmation of the scrubber installation has been completed.

We thank Cloud 9 for their willingness to enlist Rock the Earth’s input, and consider our research and advice, with regard to their choice of cruise line partner. Like other high-profile companies who consider their partners’ environmental records when making business decisions, we applaud Cloud 9’s decision.  We look forward to continuing our work with music cruise promoters to move the industry to implement and innovate even more advanced measures of environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility.