Cruise Ships and the Arctic, Subject of New Book
Dr. Maher says the industry has entered a mature phase with an increasing number and variety of ships, more demanding routes, and more regular and predictable patterns of activity. Some of the negative impacts he notes include the possibility of fuel spills and other disturbances when ships run aground or sink, the disruption of fragile ecosystems on the land and in the sea, disturbance to wildlife, and issues of crime, and cultural conflict.
“There are local communities to keep in mind,” says Dr. Maher. “Imagine: a boat carrying 300 passengers pulls up to visit a community also composed of around 300 people. Obviously that is going to be more than a little disruptive.”
Dr. Maher also indicates ways Arctic cruises could be improved and made more sustainable such as through the use of sailing vessels rather than diesel-powered ships.