Cruise the Great Lakes Announces Sustainability Pledge

Cruise the Great Lakes, a coalition of states and provinces, cruise lines, ports, convention and visitor bureaus, and others working together to promote cruising on the Great Lakes, have signed a pledge committing to promoting four environmentally conscious cruising and destination stewardship efforts starting with the 2022 cruising season.

The four areas of focus: (read full pledge here:

  1. Destination Stewardship – 3 commitments
  2. Air Emissions & Carbon Reduction – 9 commitments
  3. Wastewater – 2 commitments
  4. Recycling – 5 commitments

“Every member of the Cruise the Great Lakes coalition has already been doing its part to preserving the natural beauty of the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River and our port cities, but we felt that signing this pledge would further demonstrate our commitment to being responsible stewards of our beautiful region,” said David Lorenz, Vice President, Travel Michigan, and Chair of the Cruise the Great Lakes board of directors. “We feel this intentional effort will resonate with travelers who prefer environmentally responsible practices.”

Great Lakes cruises are unique in both experience and impact. Because vessel size is limited by the St. Lawrence Seaway’s lock system, the ships themselves are small and provide a more intimate guest experience. The largest cruise vessels in operation on the Great Lakes can hold a maximum of 400 passengers, with an average size of fewer than 200. Oceangoing cruise ships, by contrast, carry an average of 3000 passengers, or 15 times more than those cruising the Great Lakes.

Additionally, Great Lakes ships handle waste and emissions responsibly. No unlawful discharge occurs to Great Lakes waters, and solid waste is retained on board until a port of call where it can be handled by local municipal waste providers.

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