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National Geographic and global cruise operator Lindblad Expeditions have partnered to explore uncharted territories. A core value that defines Lindblad Expeditions is its desire to conserve nature. Lindblad Expeditions recently announced the launch of its first self-disinfecting fleet in the cruise industry.
What sets Lindblad apart from its competitors is its wholehearted commitment to conduct its tours without compromising the wellbeing of the environment.
The company has initiated various safety and conservatory measures to protect the environment during its many adventurous expeditions.
Lindblad has inducted highly efficient and eco-friendly ships to reduce emissions. In 2019, it became a carbon-neutral company, something that not many tourism companies can achieve.
Plastic waste generation and management has been one of the main problems faced today. Lindblad has taken several measures to help eliminate the use of plastics by guests and staff. These measures include serving local organic produce and producing crew uniforms from recycled plastics.
By 2018, Lindblad eliminated plastic usage and successfully fulfilled the expectations of green-minded passengers. This is a significant achievement.
In 2020, ACT.Global, a Danish sustainable tech company, developed a disinfectant coating solution called ACT CleanCoat. Using this technology in its latest ship, Lindblad has announced its "first self-disinfecting cruise fleet".
How Does the "Self-Disinfecting" Process Occur in a Cruise Ship?
Lindblad has employed the disinfectant coating solution developed by ACT.Global.
The complete self-disinfecting process can be divided into two parts and is explained below:
- The first part involves the use of ACT's CleanCoat™. This solution is odorless and transparent in nature and contains titanium dioxide. Once a year, it is sprayed electrostatically in all of the ship's cabins and public areas. Titanium dioxide contains photocatalytic properties that generate free radicals from airborne water molecules. Therefore, on light exposure, the coating converts airborne water molecules into hydroxyl ions and these hydroxyl ions break down microorganisms, such as bacteria, mold, airborne allergens, viruses, and volatile organic compounds. ACT CleanCoat can be applied to all surfaces, including food-contact surfaces, which increases its applicability manifold.
- The second part is the cleaning program. ACT.Global has also developed Premium Purity, a disinfectant generating system for daily cleaning use. This is a salt and water solution that enters a DC current to change its pH and is thereafter applied to the entire area to be sanitized. ACT ECA module also produces a strong disinfecting agent (containing hypochlorous acid), which has the added benefit of being eco-friendly. The most exciting and essential part of these cleaning solutions is that they can automatically clean dirty areas themselves.
According to Lindblad, ACT.Global's coating creates a cleaner, healthier ship while reducing the impact on the environment.
Bruce Tschampel, the group's vice president of hotel operations, stated that their investment in Premium Purity is stepping forward towards attaining a broader approach to greener operations.
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The Importance of a Self-Disinfecting Ship
Cruise ships' carbon emissions often cause serious environmental damage. The accumulation of waste plastics in the marine environment has developed a cause for major concern.
In 2018, researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute's Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research reported the presence of 12,000 pieces of microplastic particles in the Arctic Ocean.
The necessity of responsible sailing has become even more serious. This is especially true for the cruise ships that sail in some of the world's most sensitive waters, such as the Arctic and Antarctic waters.
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By adopting the measures mentioned above, Lindblad Expeditions has gained popularity in operating responsible voyages in the sensitive waters of the world.
The usage of ACT's CleanCoat™ has clearly been effective and transformative. Some of the benefits are discussed below:
- Reduction of the waste produced, i.e., elimination of over 1,000 plastic bottles of cleaning products.
- The impeccable cleanliness of the ship
- The guests are healthier. A report has shown that there was a 50% drop in reported cases of gastrointestinal illness among passengers over 12 months.
- Dramatic reduction in water usage by 1.1 million gallons per year
The use of ACT's CleanCoat has indeed been a real gamechanger in the cruise shipping industry, as is evident from the experience of Lindblad. Higher usage of such clean technology will be highly beneficial for the environment while not compromising on the pleasures at sea.
References and Further Reading
Davis, R. (2020). Self Cleaning Ships: Inside Lindblad Expeditions' ground-breaking new eco-initiative. [Online] Ship Technology. Available at: https://www.ship-technology.com/features/self-cleaning-ships/ (Accessed on 9 June 2020).
Lindblad Expeditions (2020) Lindblad Expeditions Becomes the First Self-Disinfecting Fleet In The Cruise Industry. [Online] Available at: https://world.expeditions.com/about-us/press-room/press-releases/lindblad-expeditions-becomes-first-self-disinfecting-fleet-in-cruise-industry/