Port of Los Angeles plugs in cruise ships to help environment

Port of Los Angeles plugs in cruise ships

Ports and cruise lines are making an ongoing effort to grow the industry in an environmentally responsible matter. The Port of Los Angeles today became the first with the ability to provide shoreside power to three different cruise lines. Using the Alternative Maritime Power system, ships from Princess Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line can now turn off their polluting engines while in port.

“The use of AMP™ at our World Cruise Center reduces emissions not just at the Port but improves the quality of air throughout the Los Angeles region,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “The ability to adapt this technology to multiple cruise lines eliminates significant ship exhaust when cruise ships are at berth, and the AMP Mobile is another innovation that demonstrates our commitment to developing cutting-edge technology that can benefit port communities everywhere.”

Having the ability to provide clean power and being able to use it are two different matters. In addition to the port having it available, ships must be fitted to accept the clean power source.The Port’s AMP™ system installed at the World Cruise Center in Los Angeles plugs in two cruise ships at a time and is capable of delivering up to 40 megawatts of power, with 20 megawatts of power delivery capacity to each of the two different ships.

Cruise lines and ports have been working on the ability to provide clean, electric energy from the local power grid for years. Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International won awards from the Port of Seattle for making an environmental difference recently.

In January’s first annual Green Gateway Partners Awards the lines were recognized for participating in the At-Berth Clean Fuels program, or use of shore power to plug in and turn off engines while docked at shore.

“Each of the companies recognized have demonstrated that you don’t have to choose between the environment and the economy,” said Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani at the time.

In Los Angeles, the World Cruise Center is the only port where two cruise ships can be connected simultaneously. Cruise ships utilize either 6.6 kilovolts (kV) or 11 kV electrical power distribution systems to plug into shore side power; the Port of Los Angeles can now accommodate either. Currently the power demand of the cruise ships calling the Port of Los Angeles is anywhere between 8 to 13 megawatts of power. A seven megawatt load is equivalent to producing enough electricity for approximately 1,000 homes.

Also in California, the Port of San Diego gained the “plug-in” ability late last year, fitted for Holland America ships. Holland America Line’s Oosterdam was the first to plug in to “Shore Power”, a system designed to help cruise ships go green. Initially the system can handle one ship but plans are for this system to take on more in the future too.

Port of San Diego Completes Shore Power System from Port of San Diego on Vimeo.

Also last year Princess Cruises Island Princess plugged in at the Port of San Francisco to a system that was built as a cooperative effort by the Port of San Francisco, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the Environmental Protection Agency, Holland America Line and Princess.

Princess’ shore power program made history debuting in environmentally extra-sensitive Juneau, Alaska in 2001, expanded to Seattle in 2005, and then to Vancouver in 2009. Currently nine of the line’s ships have the capability to “plug in” to a shoreside power source, representing an investment for Princess of nearly $7 million in equipment.


Cruise lines play it safe, skip Mexico port

cruise lines skip mexicoIn another blow to Mexico tourism and the already-weak West coast cruise business, three major cruise lines canceled calls in Mazatlan this week as concerns over crime continue.

Newly relocated Disney Wonder, bumped to the West coast when new Disney Dream took over in Florida was scheduled to visit Mazatlan on a series of seven-night sailings through April. Instead, that time will be spent in safer Cabo San Lucas.

Disney Cruise Line joins Holland America and Princess as cruise lines continue to skip the Mexican port after incidents of assault and robbery in the last few weeks. It seems passengers and crew of Holland America’s Oosterdam and Azamara Journey were involved.

Crime involving tourists is an ongoing problem in Mexico. Tourism officials have been accused of attempting to minimize the issue. The US Department of State has urged caution visiting Mexico issuing a Travel Warning in September of last year saying “It is imperative that U.S. citizens understand the risks involved in travel to Mexico.”

Ongoing crime has affected the cruise business. Earlier this month Mexican authorities discovered the bodies of at least 30 new crime victims in the popular port of Acapulco. Fifteen of which were beheaded reported the Los Angeles Times.

“We are struggling with our many ships to Mexico,” said Chris Chase, marketing director for the Port of Los Angeles. “It’s the economy and the news of drug wars down there.”

Flickr photo by chrisphoto

Cruise lines score environmental awards

cruise lines environmental awardsCruise lines get a lot of criticism for fouling up the air with tons of bad stuff emitted from their diesel burning engines. Environmental groups say “rightfully so” as dirty engines can emit a ton of gunk into the atmosphere each time they dock. But there was good news for Norwegian, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean cruise lines who all three won awards from the Port of Seattle for making an environmental difference recently.

In the first annual Green Gateway Partners Awards the lines were recognized for participating in the At-Berth Clean Fuels program, or use of shore power to plug in and turn off engines while docked at shore.

“Each of the companies recognized have demonstrated that you don’t have to choose between the environment and the economy,” said Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani.

Earlier this year, Princess Cruises Island Princess plugged in at the Port of San Francisco to a system that was built as a cooperative effort by the Port of San Francisco, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the Environmental Protection Agency, Holland America Line and Princess.

Princess’ shore power program made history debuting in environmentally extra-sensitive Juneau, Alaska in 2001, expanded to Seattle in 2005, and then to Vancouver in 2009. Currently nine of the line’s ships have the capability to “plug in” to a shore-side power source, representing an investment for Princess of nearly $7 million in equipment.

It’s a topic that comes up often these days as cruise ports green up and look to the future.

Last month, he Port of Los Angeles completed it’s World Cruise Center solar rooftop project. Estimated to produce 1.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, the $10.8 million project will also result in an estimated $200,000 in energy cost savings.

It looks like they’re sailing in the right direction environmentally.

Flickr photo by Leandoe

Cruise ports green up and look to the future

cruise ports futureTo passengers, U.S. cruise embarkation ports may all look about the same. On a good day, we pass through them, either coming or going, in a matter of minutes without much regard for what goes on there. We know that security is a big part of what they do and feel good about seeing law enforcement there, making sure the whole process runs smoothly and without incident. Lately, some of our ports are moving forward with plans to make the whole process more secure, easier and even a bit more green.

The Port of San Diego opened a new $28 million Port Pavilion that will provide green shore-side power to cruise ships. The new facility serves as an auxiliary terminal to the Port’s main B Street Cruise Ship Terminal and is also available for public events when cruise ships are not in port.

Earlier this year, Princess Cruises Island Princess plugged in at the Port of San Francisco to a system that was built as a cooperative effort by the Port of San Francisco, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the Environmental Protection Agency, Holland America Line and Princess.

The Port of Los Angeles just completed it’s World Cruise Center solar rooftop project. Estimated to produce 1.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, the $10.8 million project will also result in an estimated $200,000 in energy cost savings.

On the East coast, Florida’s Port Canaveral is looking to the future also with plans for a $100 million expansion program that includes a new terminal and more cargo facilities. “Just when the economic recovery should be moving forward at a steadier pace, we will be ready.” said Port Canaveral CEO Stan Payne.

Not long ago, Florida’s Port Everglades set out plans for a $2 billion expansion over the next 20 years that included a $75 million expansion to accommodate the worlds largest cruise ships, Oasis and Allure of the Seas.

Photo courtesy Port of Los Angeles