Anti-cruise grassroots campaign group CruiseNOTWelcome has put up 1,000 posters at ports in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Flåm in an attempt to raise awareness of the environmental and social damage it claims is caused by the cruise industry.
One of the posters, spotted by Twitter user Ketan Joshi, states: “You have just arrived in my home town on a floating block of flats that burn asphalt for propulsion and energy. The ship is registered in some bandit state or in an offshore secondary register to exempt them from all our laws about tax, environmental protection and workers rights [sic].
“You paid for your trip to a company that does not pay taxes to Norway or at all, and the workers are exempt from all relevant labour laws.
“Please go back to your boat and tell all on board that you are parasites. You are NOT welcome in Norway!”
Another reads: “CRUISE? Just don’t!” before outlining some statistics relating to emissions from cruise ships and other issues with the industry.
CruiseNOTWelcome seeks to draw attention to the detrimental environmental impacts of the cruise industry, from carbon and other emissions, to the dumping of grey water and rubbish overboard.
Its founder, Bengt Erik Waldow, said: “The industry is doomed because the whole concept of moving a floating town from port to port can never be CO2-efficient no matter what fuel they use.”
CruiseNOTWelcome also alleges that there are poor working conditions on board ships, a failure by cruise companies to pay sufficient taxes, and complains of the detrimental effect that cruise passengers have on the places they visit, given that they add little to the local economy while causing congestion.
Waldow said: “Cruise ships are a particularly big problem in Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Flåm and Geiranger, where the town centre is flooded with tourists when they arrive.”
In September 2021, a review led by the University of Exeter of over 200 research papers recommended global legislation to limit the negative impacts of the cruise industry on the world’s oceans and human health.
Research suggests that a large cruise ship can have a carbon footprint greater than 12,000 cars.
Professor Lora Fleming, an author of the review, said in a statement: “Cruise tourism was rapidly expanding pre-Covid-19, and our research shows it causes major impacts on the environment and on human health and wellbeing.
“We need much better monitoring to generate more robust data for the true picture of these impacts. Without new and strictly enforced national and international standardised rules, the cruise industry is likely to continue causing these serious health and environmental hazards.”
There are projected to be 2,950 port calls by cruise ships in Norway in 2022, according to data released by the marketing company Cruise Norway, which is owned by Norwegian cruise ports, destination companies, attractions and suppliers to the incoming cruise industry. That’s a rise of nearly 700 port calls since 2019.
CruiseNOTWelcome is calling on the Norwegian government to ban cruise ships and push for an international ban.
“Locally we will fight for the municipalities to regulate the cruise industry away – just shut the harbour areas and use them for something more useful and environmentally sound things. Like housing in Oslo for example,” said Waldow.
Waldow wanted to make clear, however, that CruiseNOTWelcome is not responsible for posters seen around Oslo and Bergen that read: “CRUISE TOURIST? PLEASE F*** OFF!”
A Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) spokesperson said: "CLIA and our member lines work closely with communities and local governments in ports and destinations around the world to deliver sustainable tourism.
“Cruise tourism brings joy to millions of passengers and enormous social and economic benefits to communities, particularly in coastal and often remote regions.
“Our ships are greener and more efficient than ever before, as the industry leads the way in the development of new environmental technologies. Cruise lines have committed to a vision of net-zero carbon cruising by 2050 and investing in the ability to plug into shoreside electricity is another step forward to achieving this ambition. Such initiatives signal the industry’s commitment to be an active partner in the development of sustainable tourism."
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