Open Jaw: Cruising's carbon footprint causes concern

Where readers write back

"The notion that cruise ships are intrinsically less harmful to the environment than aircraft is wrong: your holiday afloat comes with a hefty carbon footprint." True. And what is usually completely ignored are the effects of highly suphurous, but cheap (which is why it's used) bunker fuel: acid rain, which has been totally eclipsed by the carbon footprint concerns. We were taken aback to find that some ships are dual-fuel, with low-sulphur fuel being used where the local laws demand it, but not elsewhere. Another sad thing is that much of the food is not locally sourced, so no local delicacies on board ship, alas. You have to explore on-shore for those.

Travelling as a group has its downsides, but the 22 coachloads of us just disappeared in a city the size of Cairo, and we saw a tremendous amount of St Petersburg, with no queuing to get into the Hermitage, etc, and most importantly no visa hassles when travelling as part of a group.

On some cruises, you can stay overnight on-shore: we did in a fantastic hotel in Luxor (we'd love to go back). If you want to see the fjords, there's no better way (and it's also a cheap way of seeing Norway, which otherwise is distinctly expensive). And it's lovely to meet a whole range of nationalities on cruises from lines like MSC.

No-fly cruises from places like Dover are absolutely wonderful, with no airport hassles, luggage taken off you, and delivered to your cabin. It just surprises me that no cruise line has realised that there are high-speed trains down to the places like Nice, from where you can cruise the Mediterranean.

"Bristol Ed"

Whether you condone it or not, the attentive service stems from the fact that most of the cruise ship serving staff rely on tips. These staff get very worried when they have cabins or tables of Brits because many Brits do not understand this and believe they get a salary. The tips are essential for the staff, otherwise they are basically working for nothing.

Not tipping at least the recommended amounts at the end of the cruise is like walking out of a restaurant without paying.

"DeadReckoning"

Visiting the Baltic

The train service between St Petersburg and Tallinn was dropped a few years ago, although there is still a daily service between Tallinn and Moscow. There are now flights for those who put speed before cost, but I suggest the bus. Several direct services link Tallinn and St Petersburg every day, but more fun is to break the journey in Narva, either for a few hours or overnight, as hotel rates are much lower there than in St Petersburg. With the time change at the border, it is possible to have a full day in St Petersburg, take a bus to Narva and then continue to Tallinn the next day.

Narva is an odd place; everybody speaks Russian there, although signs are only in Estonian and in English. The river that divides it from Russia seems far too gentle, and too narrow, to be a serious EU/Nato frontier, but that is what it has become.

I haven't heard of plans to revive the train, despite the increasing number of Russians taking holidays in Estonia. Many come on coach packages, some on the regular bus and others by car so perhaps the train remains doomed.

Neil Taylor

The Burgess Hill Triangle

Your train that was running too late to have time to stop at Burgess Hill isn't much of a story – it's the sort of thing commuters put up with every day. If you had a bicycle, why didn't you use it to cycle the four miles? You'd have saved £15 and about 45 minutes.

Matt Millington

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
tvChristmas special reviewed
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all