Cruise ship emissions in Norwegian waters: A geographical analysis

Journal of Transport Geography


Cruises are one of the fastest growing and most energy-intense tourism segments, accounting for significant emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as air pollutants such as nitrous oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM2.5). International measures to limit the sector's environmental impacts have so far had no significant effects. This highlights the importance of national, regional or port-specific policies, as implemented or in planning by countries such as Norway. In order to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of such policies, it is necessary to better understand emissions. This paper models the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2), NOx, and PM2.5emitted at sea and in port in Norwegian waters. Results show that 81 cruise ships of various sizes sailed Norwegian waters in 2017, consuming 129,798 t of fuel and emitting 0.4 Mt of CO2, as well as 7184 t of NOx and 132 t of PM2.5. About 14.6% of these pollutants are deposited in ports, particularly Bergen, Oslo and Stavanger. Findings also confirm considerable differences in the environmental performance of cruise ships, and can be used to design maritime policies forcing cruise operators to introduce cleaner technologies and to rethink operational practices.