Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas is the first to make a big step forward in alternative fuels for cruise ships. While the glitz and glam future may appear to be focused on hydrogen fuel cells, LNG, and even farther out - perhaps even small nuclear reactors, renewable diesel for marine vessels is an important interim step that will allow for more sustainable operations and a net reduction in carbon emissions produced by the ship.

Virgin Voyages may not be sailing to our favorite west coast destinations yet but they continue to be a global leader in improving the cruise industry. Not only with hotel operations improvements regarding sustainable practices and progressive staffing changes that break the conservative standards that most cruise lines seem locked to, but they are now addressing the key to moving any marine vessel forward into a more sustainable future - improved Marine Fuel.

One of the top reasons why people spend money to cruise in Alaska is a chance to experience one of the last unspoiled fronteirs in America. This is a land of clean air, clear water, bountiful fish, and exotic animals like orcas and bears. As cruising continues to become even more popular it is that much more important to help protect the environment and do what we can to make sure that future generations can experience the wonder that we enjoy today. That's why I'm so excited to see moves like this one from Holland America Line to introduce a commitment to sourcing fresh, certified sustainable Alaska seafood on it's ships during Alaska cruises.

If there is one thing that the Virgin brand is known for, it is being innovative in a fun and approachable way. The brand has always been cutting edge and progressive as a tastemaker that does things "because they are the right things to do". That is one of the reasons why we were so excited to sail with them last fall on Scarlet Lady. While they aren't yet sailing on the west coast, we hope it is just a matter of time. Until then though, I think it is important to showcase what they are doing in not just talking the talk about sustainability but actually walking the walk. Beyond me just sharing my own observations though, I wanted to take the opportunity to learn more from Jill Stoneberg - Virgin Voyages Senior Director of Sustainability and Social Impact about why this topic is so important to the cruise line.

This is clearly a BIG LEAP and will not see widespread adoption of "Molten Sodium Reactors" on cruise ships for decades but it is a potentially viable energy source that will allow the cruise - as well as global shipping industry in general - to finally step away from fossil fuels. Instead, we can have safe and reliable electric power generated on board or through the use of replenishment ships like what ULSTEIN is proposing with their latest concept ship.