Eco-Friendly Cruises for the Eco-Friendly Traveler

If you’re concerned about the environment, finding the correct cruise can be a challenge. Yes, you definitely want to take some time off and not try too hard to worry about anything, but it can be hard for some to do that when they feel the guilt of contributing to global warming or the destruction of exotic, fragile environments. We’re not here to condemn cruises as harmful and irresponsible (sidenote: the cruise industry is making plenty of strides to be better for the environment!), but we do want to highlight what cruises are currently going above and beyond for sustainability. If this is something that’s important for you when selecting what companies to travel with, read on to check out some of the most eco-friendly cruises out there.


Known for excellent guided trips to the Galapagos, Ecoventura is one of the cruise lines that lives, breathes and eats environmental responsibility. Their ships always feature conservationist guides. On board, there are no single use plastics and their water systems are focused on sustainability. Beyond this, the company sponsors scholarships related to the environment and works with the World Wildlife Fund (among other groups) to ensure the safety of the landscape and animals of the Galapagos. These guys the real deal!


While you may remember Hurtigruten from our article on crazy, exotic cruise destinations, their dedication to the environment is nearly as impressive. Their environmentalism is structured around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. They proudly were the first travel company to drop single-use plastics from all their ships and are dedicated to educating passengers on their footprint. Impressively, they have similar convictions to social justice. You can read up on their environmental achievements, as well as their future plans, over here.

Eco-friendly major cruise lines

Not all major commercial cruise lines are completely built around sustainability, but that doesn’t mean that many of them aren’t working towards bettering themselves. With Hurtigruten as a model, Oceania Cruises employed a partnership with Vero Water to eliminate single-use plastics, with Regent planning to follow. Seabourn also has moved towards reusable water containers. For Royal Caribbean Cruises, there has been a major reduction in how much of their waste ends up in landfills, alongside an effort to better reduce over-tourism.

This last group of ships may not be quite as eco-friendly, but they are still some guilt-free options for those who still want to book a trip with one of the larger companies. All signs point towards the cruise industry moving towards a more sustainable future, and it’s only a matter of time with companies as big as Royal doing so.

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