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New Vancouver cruise visitor Disney an enviro failure: report

Days after Disney Cruise Line announced its ships will visit British Columbia ports, environmentalists have released a report card ranking the cruise line at the bottom.

“They've received an F,” said Howard Breen, the clean ports and vessels specialist for Friends of the Earth Canada. “A solid F.”

A call to Disney's media line was not returned by posting time.

The report, based on data from the United States, ranks 10 major cruise lines on their sewage treatment technology, air pollution reduction, and compliance with water quality rules while in Alaska.

Holland America Line, which came out on top, received a B.

“A conscientious cruise ship passenger should be making an informed choice about which ship they take their vacation on,” said Breen. The report, which will be an annual thing, helps do that, he said.

He added, however, that even the best cruise ships are relatively damaging. “The cruise lines as they operate now are probably the most harmful form of travel to the environment and human health.”

Disney Cruise Lines will make 18 trips from Vancouver to Alaska in 2011, the company announced on Sept. 11. Vancouver Port officials reportedly said the news is welcome at a time when business is down because of the economy.

“By bringing in Disney it's to me the same as inviting gun toting trophy hunters into our parks if hiker attendance drops off,” said Breen.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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