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Today, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority awarded Disney Cruise Line the Blue Circle Award for 2023. The award recognizes companies that have invested in technologies and practices that meet or exceed regulatory requirements and that have the greatest fleet-wide participation in the EcoAction Program. The port recognized Disney Cruise Line for its investment in supporting a healthy environment through initiatives focused on reducing emissions, conserving water and minimizing waste.

This marks the 11th consecutive year, recognizing the Disney Cruise Line’s participation last year in the port’s voluntary EcoAction Program and Energy Action Initiative. For those counting, Disney Cruise Line has been awarded a Blue Circle Award every year the Disney Wonder has homeported in Vancouver.

One of the primary ways the Disney Wonder reduced emissions while calling on Vancouver was to rely on the port’s shore power technology. Shore power allows cruise ships to turn off their engines while docked and “plug in” to the port’s power source to run all onboard systems as normal. By connecting to shore power, the Disney Wonder saves fuel and reduces air emissions.

According to the Frasier Vancouver Port Authority the EcoAction Program started in 2007 and rewards shipping and cruise lines, and marine operators for taking measures to reduce their environmental footprint. Almost one-third of eligible calls to the Port of Vancouver qualify each year and receive harbour dues discounts for measures that reduce greenhouse gas and air contaminant emissions, and underwater noise.

“We are honoured to acknowledge the leadership shown by so many in our port community towards supporting trade in a way that protects the environment,” said Peter Xotta, president and CEO at the port authority, the federal agency mandated to enable Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver while protecting the environment and considering local communities. “Terminals and tenants, marine operators, and shipping and cruise lines are the engines that move Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver every day—supporting jobs and economic prosperity from coast to coast—and we are proud to celebrate the efforts they are making to ensure this vital work is done in a sustainable way.” 

Through the Energy Action Initiative, launched in 2013 in partnership with BC Hydro, the port authority supports terminal operators and port tenants to learn effective ways to conserve energy. The initiative has helped implement more than 50 energy conservation projects across port lands to date—helping save more than 15,800 megawatt hours of energy (enough to annually power 1,600 houses). The Energy Action Program award for terminals and port tenants was re-introduced this year after being put on hold during the pandemic.

Using shore power is one of many ways that Disney Cruise Line strives to minimize its impact on the environment in support of The Walt Disney Company’s 2030 environmental goals. For example, to power the fleet, the cruise line is investing in alternative fuels like liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrotreated vegetable oil, a renewable diesel made from recycled cooking oils and waste animal fats. In addition, Disney Cruise Line is actively exploring bio-LNG, green methanol and other fuel sources to encourage their development at scale within the maritime industry.

Also, Disney Cruise Line continues to work toward the FY25 goal to eliminate single use plastics by removing plastic straws and plastic bags from onboard merchandise locations, switching to refillable bath product dispensers in guest staterooms and replacing plastic water bottles with recyclable aluminum.

In addition to Disney Cruise Line, four other cruise lines received the Blue Circle Award: Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises, and Princess Cruises which has earned the award a total of 13 times.

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