Monday, June 24, 2024

First cruise ship to return to Victoria waters to be met with protesters


One cruise ship sailing into BC’s Capital next week will be met with opposition, as environmental protesters look to picket at Ogden Point.

Next Wednesday, April 6th, Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess will anchor at Victoria’s cruise terminal—the first ship to usher in thousands of passengers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The upcoming cruise season will see an estimated 358 ship calls and around 780,000 passengers over seven months, the not-for-profit Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) says.

Caribbean Princess is set to dock at 9 a.m., as Extinction Rebellion Victoria invites the public to gather at the east entrance to the Ogden Point parking lot at 8:30 a.m., according to a Facebook event post.

“Our goal is to set up an information picket, using banners to momentarily stop vehicles leaving the parking area at the Ogden Point facility so we can distribute flyers summarizing the climate and environmental damage caused by cruise ships to visitors and tourist operators,” wrote Extinction Rebellion.

Organizers are hoping to “raise awareness of the climate and environmental damage caused by cruise ships, before allowing them to continue on their way.”

According to the group, cruise ship travel is “the most damaging form of travel for the climate and the environment.” It says they leave a trail of greenhouse gases, air pollution, toxic discharge, and garbage—and are also responsible for 90% of the gray water dumped in BC waters.

But Princess Cruises argues its staff “adheres to all U.S. and international environmental regulations regarding the discharge of both ‘gray water’ (from showers, sinks, dishwashers) and ‘black water’ (from toilets) into the ocean.”

“All Princess ships are equipped with treatment plants that are certified by the U.S. Coast Guard as approved marine sanitation devices,” states a post on its website.

Princess Cruise says it works closely with regulatory and enforcement organizations to ensure its policies meet the strictest requirements set forth by the International Maritime Organization and other organizations to help protect the environment.

“In all cases, we meet environmental requirements and, in many cases, we go beyond what is required by law while we are continuously working to identify ways we can raise the level of our environmental performance,” it added.

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