German Cruise Line AIDA responded to NABU’s accusations that the company’s fleet of ships is a true polluter. The environmental association said that measurements recently conducted on AIDA Prima ship have showed that its chimney belches out a lot of smoke. AIDA’s sustainability office issued a statement, claiming the charges scientifically void.
NABU claimed that covert exhaust measurements conducted by the ARD consumer TV show “Plusminus” exposed the “showcase ship” of AIDA. The air test showed that an alarming concentration of particularly unhealthy ultra-fine particles was measured on the deck of the AIDA Prima. The gauge measured up to 500,000 particles per cubic centimetre on the popular ice skating rink. The half-hourly measurements showed an average value there of 68,000 particles per cubic centimetre, which is roughly 50 times higher than to be expected in clean sea air.
NABU Federal Chairman, Leif Miller, stated: “The emission values on the AIDA Prima are appallingly high. The crew and the passengers on board are exposed to concentrations of hazardous air pollutants that are far above the level of high-traffic roads. The documented values are also a clear indication that the announced particle filter on the AIDA has not yet been put into operation almost a year after the ship’s maiden voyage. Customers and the public are being deliberately misled with empty promises about the actual environmental impact of the AIDA flagship”.
NABU added that, since it has now been possible to prove high levels of exhaust fumes on deck of another cruise ship, it has become clear that this is not just an isolated incident, but a general problem in the cruise industry.
On the other hand, the director of the Environment and Society AIDA Cruises, Monika Griefahn, in an official statement, said that the measurements on board AIDAprima, are without scientific basis, do not constitute an accepted test method and both the findings and NABU play with the fears of the consumers.
In addition, she underlined that AIDA complies with all legal standards and limit values prescribed for cruise liners, as AIDA is constantly in talks with the representatives of the NABU. Specifically, she noted that AIDAprima is using marine gas and is the only cruise ship to use low-emission liquid natural gas (LNG) in the five European ports of the current route.
“We are making progress every year in our quest to make the cruise more environmentally friendly. AIDAprima has many of the most advanced environmental technologies currently available on a passenger ship” added Griefahn.