Sustainable Cruises: 6 Cruise Lines Making Progress

Virgin Voyages aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Virgin’s ships are all on the newer side (the line’s first ship, Scarlet Lady, debuted in 2021), so they benefit from modern technology that optimizes energy and fuel usage. Additionally, the ships boast futuristic features like in-room energy-saving sensors to operate the lights, curtains and air conditioning, as well as smart wearable bands (used as room keys, for boarding and more) made of recycled ocean plastic.

Virgin’s ships serve ethically sourced seafood and other local ingredients, and they do not have any buffets, which helps lower food waste on board. There is also an onboard recycling system, and single-use plastics are not on any ships. In fact, Virgin primarily offers sustainable products for all of its paper, plastic and other disposable items (using materials like wheat and sugar cane stalks).

All three of Virgin Voyages’ vessels utilize bipolar ionization (BPI) systems shipwide. “Dozens of cruise companies have made their ships more sustainable by adding BPI technology to their HVAC systems,” says Steve Levine, president and CEO of sustainable indoor air technology company AtmosAir Solutions. “BPI devices make ships more energy efficient by lowering the amount of outside air that needs to be brought into a ship, essentially recycling and treating the air indoors and saving energy.”

Book a Virgin Voyages cruise on GoToSea.