Cruise chiefs hit out at regulators and environmental critics

Cruise chiefs hit out at regulators and environmental critics

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Cruise line bosses hit out at legislators and regulators "who don't understand" the cruise business at the World Travel and Tourism Council summit in Dallas and defended the sector's environmental record.

Adam Goldstein, president and chief operating officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises, told the summit: "There are so many people legislating about our industry who have no idea about it.

"We're at the mercy of 1,000 destinations for taxes and regulations put upon us by people who don't understand our industry."

Goldstein said: "There are pockets of people in Washington who do understand and we need to work on that [because] we bring a tremendous amount of benefit to the destinations we visit."

He added: "There was a lot of interest in the last decade about what cruise companies put into the ocean.

"We put a lot of investment into it and now you could drink what we put into the ocean.

"This decade, people care about sulphur [emissions]," he said. The European Union tightened rules on sulphur emissions from ships from January 2015.

Goldstein said Royal Caribbean Cruises and rival Carnival Cruise Lines had invested "probably $1 billion" to reduce sulphur emissions.

Carnival Cruise Lines president and chief executive Arnold Donald said: "It's in our interest to have a clean environment. Do people want to see trash [discharged into the sea]? Of course they don't."

Donald also rejected the idea that cruise passengers run a heightened risk of becoming sick at sea from the vomiting bug, norovirus.

He said: "Just 0.007% of cruises have the norovirus; 6% of the US population have the virus. So if you don't want it, you should go on a cruise.

"We're the only ones who report the virus, so it looks like a lot [of cruisers get ill]. But it's easy to contain it on a cruise ship."

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