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Water management

Water Management

Conserving fresh water

Conserving water, one of our planet’s most important resources, is an important issue for AIDA. It is our aim to reduce our water consumption, to increase the amount of water we can produce and to avoid needing to use fresh water from land. Through the use of water-saving devices, we have been able continually to reduce the daily onboard consumption of fresh water per person in recent years.

Our information suggests that AIDA currently has the lowest per person consumption of fresh water in the entire cruise industry. The toilet flushes on board our ships function using a water-saving vacuum system that consumes just one liter of water per flush cycle. In 2017, we were able to reduce our fresh water consumption from 168.6 liters per person per day to 163.3 liters in comparison with the previous year.

On board our ships, we already transform seawater into top-quality drinking water for our guests and crew through the use of reverse osmosis systems. If this is not possible, we fill the onboard tanks with clean drinking water while docked in a port. In order to do so, we are mindful to check the availability of water on land during the route planning stage, as we are aware of the importance of conserving drinking water reservoirs on land. AIDA Cruises principally focuses on producing its own water on board in order to conserve water levels in land-based reservoirs, especially where less water is available.

At the end of 2017, AIDAcara was fitted with a cutting-edge freshwater production system. On its new routes, AIDAcara spends more time at sea and in regions where it is not possible to guarantee a reliable supply of water on land. In order to conserve drinking water resources in these destinations, with our highly-efficient desalination systems we can produce up to 600,000 liters of high-quality drinking water per day for both passengers and crew.

Nine of our twelve ships are fitted with a state-of-the-art vacuum food waste system for food waste, which uses considerably less water than conventional systems. Instead of waste being flushed away with water through pipes, we route it to the designated storage tank via a vacuum suction system.

Hand towels, bed sheets, tablecloths, clothes and much more are laundered on board every day. AIDAprima and AIDAperla are both equipped with an on board tunnel washer. This machine uses just 2.5 liters of water per kilogram of laundry. In comparison with conventional household washing machines, which consume an average of 9.9 liters of water, this represents a considerable saving in resources. This enables us to save around 46 million liters of water each year on board AIDAprima and AIDAperla. That’s enough water to fill 18.4 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Fresh water production on AIDAcara

Waste water treatment

AIDA Cruises strictly fulfils and even exceeds the high international environmental standards for wastewater treatment in the maritime industry (MARPOL). For example, on board all of our ships that have been brought into service since 2007, wastewater is processed in biological membrane purification systems to almost drinking water quality. With these “Advanced Waste Purification Systems” (AWWPS), we reach a degree of water purity which is not achieved by many treatment and purification plants on land. Furthermore, as early as the route planning stage, we take into account the ports where it will be possible to hand over our wastewater to licensed disposal specialists.

In order to improve the quality of our treatment systems even further, we collaborate with, among other bodies, the Testing Institute for Wastewater Technology in Aachen. Together we seek out technical solutions that can further enhance the performance of cleaning technology.

All of our ships are already equipped with two oil separators. These separators divide the water that accumulates in the bilge (i.e. bilge water) from any potential oil residues. We moreover examine the oil content of the wastewater in addition to using a second sensor system called a ‘white box’. Before the international threshold value of 15 parts per million is reached, the white box issues a warning and the discharge of the bilge water is suspended. We hand over the filtered-out oily residues to licensed disposal companies on land or, if this is not possible, to the best available alternative.

AIDA Cruises signed a declaration of commitment as far back as 2008 not to release any raw sewage anywhere in the Baltic Sea. The agreement specifies that all wastewater is to be handed over in any port that has sufficient capacity and can guarantee that the wastewater will be properly treated. We comply with the strict HELCOM limit values, which apply to the Baltic Sea, and are preparing ourselves for future requirements, e.g. in the Norwegian fjords.