Sunday, June 12, 2011

Oasis of the Seas Passenger Carrying Capacity and Port Facility

In an article about Oasis of the Seas's new port of call in Jamaica, I mentioned about the construction of new port facilities in Falmouth to receive the largest cruise ship in the world. The Caribbean country hopes that by receiving more cruise ships, its economic condition can be improved. The trend in marine tourism industry shows that ship owners now order cruise ships that are larger with more capacity for carrying passengers. Oasis of the Seas which was launched in November 2008 has accommodations for 6,296 people. This huge man made floating structure needs larger pier, and deeper waters particularly in the harbor area which she will visit. The decision made by ship owners to order larger cruise ships was based on the consideration of efficiency and economy of operation. With higher capacity, the revenue which they can get will be higher with little increase in operational cost.
The impact is clear. More wastes will be produced from these luxurious cruise ships and more man made structures will have to be constructed at the harbors. In tropical regions where coral reef thrive around most of the coastal areas of the islands, the construction of big harbors and other port facilities bring more damage to the coral reef and the nearby marine environment. Naval Architect and Marine Engineers who are working in the design and construction of cruise ships have to be more serious in designing the on board waste treatment facility inside the cruise ships. Gray water and organic solid wastes that come out of the ships must not be harmful to the environment.
I suggest that more efforts should be done by naval architects and marine engineers in creating an integrated waste treatment facility between cruise ships and port facilities so that wastes both liquid, and solid will be able to be transported from ships to land. By creating such integrated facility, the addition in capacity of passengers will not bring detrimental impact on the coral reef and marine environment where the cruise ships will travel to.

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