Eco-Friendly Cruise Ships Built With the Environment in Mind

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Cruises are a terrific way to see beautiful, exotic places while enjoying luxurious amenities. While this unique blend of adventure and relaxation creates the ideal vacation, it also creates many issues for the environment. Luckily, to combat the environmental harm caused by cruise ships, many cruise lines have begun taking steps to make the industry more sustainable. Whether cruising across the ocean or meandering along rivers, the following cruise lines are taking steps to making eco-friendly cruise ships. This way they reduce their carbon footprint, become more sustainable, and ensure that travelers can enjoy our beautiful earth for generations to come.

Virtuosa and Seascape by MSC Cruises

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MSC Cruises, based in Geneva, Switzerland, operates from the Caribbean to the Far East. With over 300 years of maritime experience, MSC is a trusted name in the cruise industry. While MSC is committed to reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on all of their ships, they have two ships in particular that boast an even higher level of sustainability and eco-friendly features.

Sustainability at Sea

The MSC Virtuosa and the MSC Seascape are two of MSC Cruise’s most sustainable ships. These ships offer all the amenities passengers would expect while leading the charge in


environmentally-friendly features. These ships have the following eco-friendly upgrades:

  • Efficient, energy-saving appliances
  • Systems to lower air emissions
  • Advanced water treatment systems
  • Hybrid exhaust gas cleaning systems
  • Selective catalytic reduction
  • Innovative hull design to reduce drag

These features help preserve the environment by reducing fuel usage, lowering air emissions, and reducing unnecessary energy use. According to MSC Cruise Line’s sustainability report, the measures MSC has taken reduce fuel usage by 15 tons of fuel per day, equating to 47 tons of carbon dioxide, during their cruises. Since the average cruise ship uses up to 250 tons of fuel daily, this is a significant reduction. This means that, even with over 6,000 passengers onboard, the MSC Virtuosa and MSC Seascape make very little impact on the environment.

MSC Cruises’ Countless Destinations

Making an eco-friendly choice doesn’t mean you can’t visit incredible places in style. Both the MSC Virtuosa and Seascape sail to many incredible locations for various amounts of time. Aboard the MSC Seascape or MSC Virtuosa, you can explore:

  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Bermuda
  • Caribbean
  • Bahamas
  • Mediterranean
  • Northern Europe

MSC Entertainment and Amenities

Package pricing varies depending on destination, accommodations, and other factors. However, they do have cruises starting at $300 per person. Once aboard an MSC cruise, you’ll be treated to an incredible array of amenities and entertainment, such as:

  • Spa
  • Marina and pools
  • Live theater
  • Disco
  • Casino
  • Kids Clubs for all ages
  • 10+ restaurants and eateries

Whether you’re aboard the Virtuosa or the Seascape, you’ll be treated to impressive luxury while still being able to feel good about your carbon footprint.

Silver Origin by SilverSea

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SilverSea Origin eco-friendly cruise ship.

The Silver Origin by SilverSea is arguably the most luxurious way to explore the Galapagos. Every feature of this ship, from the decor to the restaurants, is intended to immerse passengers in the beauty of the Galapagos and Ecuador.

The Silver Origin is breathtaking, but there’s more than meets the eye aboard this cruise ship. The sustainable features, exotic destinations, and amazing amenities on the Silver Origin will have guests planning their next cruise before returning to port.

Silver Origin’s Sustainability

Since the Silver Origin was created for guests to visit one of the most famous ecosystems in the world, it’s especially important that this vessel is eco-friendly and sustainable. This cruise ship was built with the environment in mind using some of the most advanced technology available. The eco-conscious features on the Silver Origin include:

  • Dynamic positioning system to protect the seabed
  • Reverse osmosis water purification systems in all rooms
  • Guests receive a reusable metallic water bottle to eliminate single-use bottles
  • Advanced propulsion system reduces fuel usage

In addition to the thoughtful design of this cruise ship, SilverSea Cruise Lines has also created the SilverSea Fund for the Galapagos. This fund is intended to ensure that the archipelago is preserved and protected so it can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Explore the Archipelago on Eco-Friendly Cruise Ships

The Galapagos Islands is the largest National Park in Ecuador and is a bucket-list adventure for many people. When you sail on the Silver Origin, you’ll depart from and return to San Cristobal. Choose from seven to 11 days at sea and explore the following parts of the Galapagos:

  • Kicker Rock
  • Isla Bartolome
  • Buccaneer Cove
  • Isabela Island
  • Floreana Island
  • Santa Cruz

Each day offers new adventures, stunning landscapes, and unique local wildlife you couldn’t experience anywhere else on earth.

The Silver Origin Experience

Each suite aboard is comfortable, luxurious, and spacious. Prices to enjoy a Silver Origin adventure vary greatly, but they begin at about $15,000 per person. While this price is significantly higher than others, the Silver Origin is a luxury, all-inclusive cruise ship that sails to one of the most sought-after locations on earth. Sailing to the Galapagos in such luxury is a significantly different experience than most other cruises. During your Silver Origin expedition, you can enjoy the following all-inclusive amenities:

  • Fitness center
  • Spa
  • Beauty salon
  • Observation deck
  • Basecamp
  • Authentic Ecuadorian cuisine

Though the Silver Origin by SilverSea is certainly the most luxurious cruise on this list, for adventurers looking to explore the Galapagos in style while still being eco-friendly, this cruise is an unbeatable choice.


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A-ROSA eco-friendly river cruise.

This German cruise line specializes in unique river cruises. Celebrating over 20 years of delighting passengers with immersive vacations along various river systems, A-ROSA should be at the top of your list for sustainable cruising. Unlike cruises out to sea, river cruises allow guests to see various cities up close and personal, rather than just seeing ports and coastal towns. 

River Cruise Sustainability

Since A-ROSA cruises are on the rivers, they avoid a lot of environmental complications that larger cruise ships face. In addition to their river cruise status making them more eco-friendly, A-ROSA has also made the following upgrades to ensure they are as sustainable as possible:

  • Highly efficient waste management systems
  • Advanced water waste treatment
  • Onshore power connection to reduce emissions
  • Cruise ships are plastic-free

A-ROSA has even won a Green Award for its dedication to the environment. If you’re looking for a river cruise adventure, you can feel good about choosing A-ROSA.

A-ROSA’s Famous Destinations on Eco-Friendly Cruise Ships

Being on the river gives A-ROSA the unique advantage of showing passengers the innermost areas of many cities. Some of the famous areas A-ROSA travels to are:

  • Paris
  • Normandy
  • Vienna
  • Budapest

You’ll arrive at these cities on one of the many rivers that A-ROSA runs on, such as the Danube, Rhine, Seine, and more. By exploring these beautiful sites on a river cruise, you’ll feel like you’re truly a part of these cities.

Life Aboard an A-ROSA Cruise

Their cabins, suites, and family cabins can fit groups of any size. Prices vary depending on the journey and the accommodations chosen, but prices start at about $900 and go up to around $4,000. Whichever adventure you choose, the many amenities aboard A-ROSA ships give passengers a chance to spend time with their travel companions and make new friends along the way. While on their voyage, passengers can enjoy:

  • Deck Chess
  • Shuffleboard
  • Pool
  • Restaurants

By sailing with A-ROSA, your journey will include many incredible locations while keeping your carbon footprint at a minimum.

Battery Powered Ships by Hurtigruten

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MS Otto Sverdrup eco-friendly ship.

Hurtigruten, a Norwegian company founded in 1893, began and still operates as a shipping company. In addition to shipping, they offer cruises to countless places around the world.


Hurtigruten is home to one of the most sustainable cruise ships ever made, the MS Fridtjof Nansen. All of Hurtigruten’s other cruise ships are among the most sustainable to exist, as well.

Unmatched Sustainability

Hurtigruten boasts the largest environmental upgrades in all of European shipping. However, they didn’t stop their eco-conscious mission with their shipping fleet. In addition to the MS Fridtjof Nansen, the MS Roald Amundsen and the MS Otto Sverdrup are Hurtigruten’s other battery-powered, eco-friendly vessels. These ships are incredible breakthroughs for the cruise industry. In addition to their battery-powered cruise ships, they also have the following environmentally-friendly upgrades:

  • Shore Power Connectivity
  • Banned use of heavy fuel oil, or HFO
  • Use solar and electric excursion vehicles, such as catamarans, snowmobiles, and tour buses

Hurtigruten is looking to the future with its environmental endeavors, as well. They plan to complete their first “Emissions Free Trip” by 2030 and have a goal to reach zero emissions company-wide by 2050. While there is an industry-wide commitment to be carbon-neutral by 2050, Hurtigruten’s goal to launch an emissions-free trip by 2030 is much more impressive and impactful.

Breathtaking Destinations On Hurtigruten Eco-Friendly Cruise Ships

From Alaska to Central America, Hurtigruten sails anywhere an adventurer’s heart may take them. Some of the incredible places Hurtigruten’s three battery-powered cruise ships sail to are:

MS Roald Amundsen
  • Alaska
  • Caribbean and Central America
  • South America
  • Antarctica
MS Otto Sverdrup
  • Norway
  • British Isles
MS Fridtjof Nansen
  • North America
  • South America
  • Antarctica
  • Northwest Passage
  • Caribbean
  • Greenland
  • Iceland
  • Europe

Sailing with Hurtigruten Eco-Friendly Cruise Ships

When you embark on a Hurtigruten cruise, you’ll be able to enjoy a long list of amenities while knowing you have an eco-friendly vacation. Hurtigruten cruises have the following experiences onboard:

  • Spacious cabins
  • Social spaces
  • Learning and science centers
  • Wellness centers
  • Lounges
  • Restaurants

While a Hurtigruten adventure costs vary based on room and destination, they have excursions starting at about $3,000. This means a sustainable, unforgettable adventure aboard a luxurious ship is within reach.

Set Sail Sustainably

If you’re considering a cruise for your next vacation, consider one of these eco-friendly cruises. Being environmentally conscious doesn’t have to mean missing out on the adventure of a lifetime. Instead, choose to set sail the sustainable way by hopping on an eco-friendly cruise.