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Sail & Sustain: Our Global Sustainability Program

Driving a Positive Impact on Society and the Environment

At Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, we are committed to driving a positive impact on society and the environment through our global sustainability program, Sail & Sustain. We visit nearly 500 destinations globally, allowing our guests to travel and explore the world, and our business is inextricably linked to the preservation of our planet and the protection of our shared resources.

Learn more about our Sail & Sustain strategy

Key Highlights for 2020

Despite the significant public health challenges we face from the COVID-19 pandemic, our commitment to our ESG priorities has been unwavering. View our key highlights from our 2020 Sail & Sustain environmental, social and governance report:

Reducing Environmental Impact Reducing Environmental Impact
Sailing Safely Sailing Safely
Empowering People Empowering People
Strengthening Communities Strengthening Communities
Operating with Integrity and Accountability Operating with Integrity and Accountability


tons of carbon offsets purchased1


stringent public health compliance culture


participation in diversity, equity & inclusion training across U.S. shoreside workforce


participation in diversity, equity & inclusion training across U.S. shoreside workforce


female representation on Board of Directors


targeted reduction in industry-wide carbon emissions rate by 20302


globally recognized experts assembled to form the Healthy Sail Panel in response to COVID-19


women in global shoreside leadership


donated to six Alaska port communities impacted by loss of tourism during COVID-19


diverse Board of Directors


single-use plastic water bottles and ~50M plastic straws estimated to be eliminated annually across our fleet and two island destinations


of initial voyages upon a resumption of cruising to sail with SailSAFE™ health and safety program, including mandatory vaccinations4


ethnically diverse U.S. shoreside employees6


of humanitarian relief provided to organizations worldwide, including joint efforts with JUST  Goods, Inc.


independent Directors out of 9 members


of ships on order equipped with cold-ironing capabilities


combined average score for unannounced CDC ship inspections in U.S. ports in 2019


minimum wage for all U.S. shoreside employees7


support provided to St. Vincent for volcanic relief efforts


average Board tenure9


ships with Advanced Wastewater Purification systems


of ships sail with dedicated Public Health Officer onboard


medical insurance premiums covered for furloughed team members due to COVID-198


Feeding America food banks supported in the Southern U.S. to provide relief after Texas and Gulf States severe winter storms


Code of Ethics certification annually


of total U.S. supply spending with small or diverse businesses in 20203

10+ years

average experience of our ship Safety Officers


voluntary retention rate for U.S. shoreside team in 2020


Miami cruise longshoremen provided with gift cards totaling $100K


tolerance policy for any discrimination or retaliation

  1. Commitment to purchase over three-year period, 2021-2023.
  2. Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) industry-wide commitment
  3. against 2008 fleet baseline.
  4. Total U.S. supply spending with small businesses or businesses with minority, veteran or economically disadvantaged qualifications.
  5. Limited exceptions may be made pursuant to valid medical or religious exemptions.
  6. Global shoreside manager and above leadership.
  7. Percentage based on team members who have self-identified.
  8. Certain positions have a lower base wage but have a combined higher incentive.
  9. Shoreside team members who are temporarily furloughed.
  10. As of 4/7/21.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We are proud to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to achieve a more sustainable future. Our Company touches nearly all 17 SDGs through our day-to-day operations, partnerships and social and community initiatives both locally and at the destinations we visit around the globe. However, we have identified 10 goals where we believe we can make the greatest contribution:

Health and safety are our number one priority and we are committed to protecting our guests, crew, shoreside team members and the communities we visit.

We co-formed the Healthy Sail Panel, a group of 11 globally recognized experts, to inform the development of new and enhanced health and safety standards in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The panel’s work was widely shared and open to any other industry that could benefit from the scientific and medical insights.

We enhanced our commitment to health and safety with our robust SailSAFETM health and safety program with protocols to create multiple layers of protection against COVID-19. We were the first major cruise operator to commit to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all guests and crew upon an initial return to service in addition to the multi-layered SailSAFE preventative protocols*.

*Limited exceptions may be made pursuant to valid medical or religious exemptions.
We have a stringent 24/7/365 Public Health program in place which works closely with public health agencies including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

 Our Company is committed to fostering an inclusive and equitable workforce, where women are represented, engaged and empowered to generate and execute on innovative ideas.

Our commitment is reflected across the organization from our Board of Directors which is comprised of one-third women to our shoreside manager and above leadership team which is approximately 50% female.
We have increased onboard water production with evaporators and Reverse Osmosis plants that use seawater as the source, which reduces the need for the bunkering of fresh water. In 2020, ~83% of our water was produced on board.
Our fleetwide average water consumption has decreased ~4.5% between 2015-2019. One of our water conservation efforts include installing water flow reducers on sink taps, shower heads and galley sink taps.
100% of our ships have Advanced Wastewater Purification systems onboard.

We have ship-specific plans in place that focus on improving energy efficiency including through improving voyage planning, speed optimization, operating engines on their most economic loads, optimization of HVAC systems, improving our ships’ hydrodynamic capabilities by upgrading the propulsion systems with more efficient propellers, applying low-friction hull coating and using energy-saving LED lights.

Our Waste Heat Recovery program works by recovering heat from the engines and using it to heat freshwater

 We directly employ over 34,000 team members internationally representing over 120 countries across the globe. We also have a significant indirect economic impact at our homeports and the nearly 500 destinations we visit worldwide.

To further support our employees, we committed to a $15/hr minimum wage for all U.S. shoreside employees beginning in May 2019 except for certain teams that have a lower hourly wage combined with a higher incentive.

We remain committed to having a positive impact on our local communities, the communities we visit and on the local ecosystems through which we cruise.

We provide significant disaster relief to communities in need including both supplies and funding. For example, we provided $3 million of aid to rebuild the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian, approximately $500K to St. Vincent after the volcanic eruption, nearly $275,000 for rebuilding efforts in Columbia after Hurricane Iota and A$250,000 for Australia bushfire relief efforts.

We promote responsible tourism by providing a variety of shore excursions for guests including our “Go Local” tours which are designed to immerse our guests in the local communities and support local artisans, businesses and markets.

We are committed to working with diverse partners across the supply chain to source safe, high quality, ethically responsible and sustainable products for our guests.

We have a strong focus on reducing single-use plastics through a multitude of initiatives. Most notably Norwegian Cruise Line becoming the first major global cruise company to be plastic water bottle free through its partnership with JUST® Goods, Inc.

We have a long-term climate action strategy and are continually seeking opportunities to reduce our overall carbon footprint. In 2018 we joined a historic industry commitment to reduce the carbon emissions rate industry-wide by 40% by 2030 compared to 2008 levels.

We have proposed a collaborative R&D fund with the cruise industry and other maritime associations that if approved aims to generate approximately $5 billion over a ten-year period to pursue new environmental solutions including zero carbon technologies to achieve GHG reduction targets.

We voluntarily committed to offset CO2 emissions with a goal of increasing offset purchases each year and eventually reaching carbon neutrality.

Our industry is inextricably linked to our oceans and as such, continual improvement is one of our core responsibilities.

We partner with various organizations to support ocean conservation including Ocean Conservancy and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. We also have a coral reef restoration project in the Bahamas in conjunction with Nova Southeastern University.

Harvest Caye, the Company’s private destination in Belize, is home to a wildlife sanctuary and is also one of the few nesting sites for endangered hawksbill turtles. We established the Harvest Caye Conservation Foundation (HCCF) in partnership with Belize Island Holdings Ltd. as a non-governmental organization whose primary goal is to promote wildlife conservation in Belize. HCCF is dedicated to working with other organizations in Belize and undertaking advocacy and outreach work with schools and communities to promote conservation and awareness of threatened species.


Preserving Our Planet

One of our core company values is environmental stewardship. The future of our oceans and the destinations we visit is vital to our industry, and all of us. We have implemented innovative environmental technologies across our fleet.

Learn About Our Environmental Initiatives


Empowering and Protecting People & Uplifting Communities

We empower and support our team members, strengthen communities and protect our stakeholders as we sail safely around the globe. Our goal is to leave each place a little better than we found out. Find out how our teams rebuild disaster areas, celebrate everyday heroes and more.

Learn About Our Social Impact


Operating with Integrity and Accountability

We have a strong corporate governance system in place to provide high standards of transparency and accountability and strive to be a leader in ethics and responsible business practices.

Learn About Our Governance

Reporting and Downloads

We invite you to learn more about our Sail & Sustain accomplishments and are pleased to offer these materials for you to access at your leisure.

Access Our Reporting and Downloads