While shippers will maintain their routes even if fuel prices rise, every major cruise line is rethinking whether it will need to scale back on some itineraries in order to control costs. Even the companies that have touted their environmental credentials the most — Disney Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean, for example — are lobbying the EPA to reconsider how it enforces the new rules.
Bud Darr, vice president for technical and regulatory affairs at the Cruise Lines International Association, said his members are worried whether there’s “sufficient quantity of fuel, particularly as it pertains in the Pacific Northwest” to meet the standards. While the EPA has issued guidelines on how firms can document their inability to purchase fuel, Darr said the potential shortage would spike costs.
Cruise companies have proposed that they be allowed to burn higher-sulfur fuel at some points in the 200-mile control zone while curbing emissions elsewhere.