Operation Oceans Alive

In 2018, we launched Operation Oceans Alive, a new environmental stewardship program. Operation Oceans Alive began as an internal effort and call to action to further ensure all employees continue the companywide commitment to protecting our oceans, seas, and waterways from environmental harm – ensuring their ecosystems, plant life, and aquatic animals thrive both now and in the future.

Now in its second year, Operation Oceans Alive continued to expand through new programs and procedural changes, commitments, educational and training channels, and, perhaps most importantly, through individual choices and actions. Below we list some of the initiatives we accomplished in 2019.

Reducing Single-Use Items

Our efforts to drastically reduce single-use items are a key part of the program. We are strongly committed to significantly reducing non-essential single-use items, including plastics, on board our ships by the end of 2021. The objective to reduce the purchase and consumption of single-use items as part of our overall commitment to reducing our environmental impact is also manifested in our Single-Use Item Policy, which went into effect in 2019. The policy eliminates the procurement of prohibited single-use items. In parallel, we established a single-use item cross-brand task force.

The phase-out and reduction process is clustered into two phases and aligns with the Single-Use Item Policy. The first phase was completed by the end of FY2019 and single-use items such as straws, cups, lids, stir sticks, cocktail picks, toothpicks, butter foils, and plastic shopping bags have since been eliminated or replaced with sustainable alternatives wherever possible.

While it is easier to phase out and/or replace some items, it is more challenging for others. As part of the company’s stringent Health, Environment, Safety and Security (HESS) policy and to comply with national and international regulations governing cruise ship operations, there are some single-use plastic items that cannot be completely eliminated, including plastic trash can liners in common areas, medical equipment and sanitary gloves, among others. As such, we are focusing on reducing single- use items that are not used for sanitary or health- related purposes.

We are strongly committed to reducing non-essential single-use items, including plastics, on board our ships.

Reducing Food Waste

Within the scope of Operation Oceans Alive, we are aiming to reduce the total weight of food waste across our entire fleet by 10% by the end of 2021, with some of our brands setting themselves even more ambitious reduction targets. A first step involved obtaining a standardized list of food loss on board. As a result, FY2019 was established as a baseline to measure the weight of all food waste generated on board our ships. To fulfill and eventually surpass this commitment, we are working on solutions that involve the development of new and the revision of existing food waste management systems and practices on board of our ships.

To increase awareness on the issue of food waste and to highlight that reducing food waste can be fun, in 2019 we initiated the ‘Food Waste Shuffle’ music video challenge. The video challenge provided a great opportunity to engage and educate in a creative way on the importance of food waste reduction and separation. The engagement level was high and we received a total of 76 original video submissions from our ships and offices all around the world.

We are committed to a food waste reduction goal of 10% across the entire fleet by the end of 2021.


In 2019, we continued to evaluate technologies and operations to minimize the volume of food waste generated on board our ships by installing additional bio-digesters throughout the fleet. Through an anaerobic digestion process that takes place within the machines, food waste is efficiently broken down. This green technology provides a number of benefits, and supports and enhances operations on board, making it more efficient for crew members to manage and control food waste. Moving forward, we are excited to expand the use of bio-digesters across our fleet in 2020 as part of our commitment to environmental excellence.

Building Partnerships

In 2019, we announced a partnership with the University of West Florida (UWF) to enhance our fleetwide environmental officer training program with the launch of an innovative and interactive new Environmental Excellence course. The weeklong course consists of a virtual 23-day voyage aboard the MV Oceans Alive as the “ship” departs on a repositioning cruise from Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Venice, Italy, followed by a 7-day voyage in the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Participants of varying experience levels work together in small cross-brand teams to enhance communication, collaboration, and leadership skills by investigating real- world challenges, researching rules and regulations, and conducting shared-learning discussions throughout the continuing storyline..

Celebrating Environmental Holidays

We have been celebrating environmental holidays across our fleet to continue promoting environmental awareness and to remind ourselves that every single one of us can make a positive impact in protecting the environment.

In 2019, we adopted the following globally recognized environmental holidays to our celebration activities: Global Recycling Day, Earth Day and World Oceans Day.

Many of the brands celebrated additional environmental holidays on their own.

Global Recycling Day

Celebrating Global Recycling Day reminded us of the importance of preserving primary resources and protecting and preserving the planet through recycling. At Carnival Corporation, we focus on recycling by gradually increasing the type of recyclable materials we collect.

In addition to celebrating Global Recycling Day, we took the opportunity to rename our “Garbage rooms,” to “Recycling Centers.” This places a greater emphasis on recycling and serves as a reminder to everyone to divert waste from landfills in the first place and recycle as much as possible. In addition, educational activities were celebrated on board the ships as well as ashore.

Our Seabourn brand held competitions on their ships. Seabourn Encore created ship models out of recycled materials, Seabourn Sojourn provided a fun environmental quiz, and Seabourn Ovation held a recycling fashion show with items found on board.

Earth Day

Earth Day is an opportunity to celebrate the Earth and remind us to protect and preserve the precious ecosystems in which we live. Across the fleet, ships celebrated this day with special programming for guests and crew that included: Environmental Officer (EO) talks, awareness messaging, and themed activities in kids clubs, among other activities.

World Oceans Day

The waters on which we sail are our home – and our future. To honor these waters, we celebrated World Oceans Day with a variety of activities for guests and team members. On board our Holland America Line fleet, the crew participated in festivities such as baking eye-catching cakes, conducting training on food waste, and offering unique kids club activities. Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line ships organized beach clean-ups to help make a positive impact on local communities.


We celebrate and recognize our employees on board and ashore for their hard work and commitment to being stewards of the environment. We have done so through the following recognition and award programs:

Environmental Excellence Award

We continue to honor excellence in environmental performance throughout our fleet. The Carnival Corporation environmental excellence award honors the accomplishments of the ship’s management
and crew that best represents our commitment to protecting and preserving the environment Their example promotes continuous improvement throughout our fleet. Every year one ship from each cruise brand is selected and from those nine total ships, one is recognized as the best in environmental excellence. For FY2019 performance, Carnival Cruise Line’s ship Carnival Horizon was the recipient of the Environmental Excellence Award.

The individual best in brand Environmental Excellence Award winners are:

  • AIDA Cruises: AIDAVita

  • Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival Vista

  • Costa Cruises: Costa Fascinosa / Costa Asia:Costa Serena

  • Cunard: Queen Victoria

  • Holland America Line: Koningsdam

  • P&O Australia: Pacific Dawn

  • P&O Cruises: Ventura

  • Princess Cruises: Ruby Princess

  • Seabourn: Seabourn Sojourn

Environmental Excellence Coin

As part of our environmental recognition program, we award Environmental Excellence coins to personnel who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to environmental stewardship. In November 2019, the Recycling Center team of our Holland America Line ship Koningsdam was awarded the Environmental Excellence coin for their hard work and commitment to environmental excellence.