Holland America Standard's Green

We have dear friends from The Netherlands, so we know how meaningful  “orange” is to the Dutch, starting with the “House of…” more than four centuries ago. Today there’s a little green added to the orange that is synonymous with all things Dutch.

The news wire, or Internet portals, have been buzzing the past few days with kudos to Holland America for being the 2010 Marine Environmental Business of the Year, as chosen by the Port of Seattle and the Seattle Propeller Club. It should be mentioned that what was originally the Dutch-American Steamship Company is now owned by Carnival, the largest cruise company in the universe, and that its headquarters are in Seattle.

Like so many attempts to have us “go greener” in all aspects of our life, this news item seems significant for the cruise industry.

What it does is throw down the gauntlet.

If indeed Holland America is perceived to be setting the environmental standard for cruise lines, and all of them preach some version of ecological responsibility, the others will be expected to match the Seattle standard. For we who struggle to understand all the ways we impact the environment, what is clear about Holland America’s accomplishment is it has: (a) after challenging its 14 ships to operate at 98% of their fuel budget for three years, reported the actual figure was 96%; (b) reduced diesel engine emissions in Seattle’s Alaska runs by conserving fuel and using power from shore.

Eight of HAL’s 14 ships will sail Alaska this year, the Amsterdam, Ooosterdam, Rotterdam and Zaandam from Seattle and the Ryndam, Statendam, Volendam and Zuiderdam from Vancouver. They represent more than 130 cruises from now until September. That’s about 25% of Holland America’s itineraries, which touch 320 ports…one of which believes green is as just important as orange.

That’s it…we’re done!

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