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Luxury cruise liner offering tour of Arctic on ship with massive carbon footprint

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Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 4:53 PM - For $20,000 - $44,000, you can hop aboard the luxury cruise ship the Crystal Serenity for a 'last chance' to see the Arctic, before it's wiped out by climate change.

Unfortunately the expedition may be exacerbating the problem.

As Popular Science points out, Crystal Serenity leaves behind a massive carbon footprint -- one that's three times larger, per passenger, than a 747 jetliner.

The tour has sparked harsh criticism online with many outlets calling the expedition an example of 'environmental disaster tourism.'

The cruise is also offering guests ATV tours in the Arctic, which can rip up the land and cause substantial noise pollution.

According to Crystal Cruises, the company organizing the expedition, the ship has "environmental protections" in place:


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"During the transit, Crystal Serenity will be voluntarily using Marine Gas Oil, a low-sulphur fuel. Marine Gas Oil contains less than 0.1% sulphur, is extremely clean burning and is well in excess of the existing environmental regulations," the company says on its website.

But critics say the bulk of the ship's carbon footprint comes from its antiquated sewage treatment system, with All Voices estimating the ship will generate and dump 672,000 pounds of sewage into the Arctic during the journey.

The 68,000 tonne, 13-deck ship will carry as many as 1,070 guests through a "mystical Pacific-Atlantic sea route" that was once too clogged with ice to navigate.

The ship will depart Anchorage, Alaska on August 16, 2016 and dock in New York City on September 17.

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