Cruise protests erupt in popular European destination against pollution

Cruise protests erupted in Marseille, France’s leading cruise destination, over the weekend as local residents raged against the pollution caused by the ships.

Protestors were photographed taking to the water in their own small vessels with signs questioning who profited from the industry or calling for cruises to ‘stop’.

According to a new report from Transport and Environment, Marseille is the 12th most polluted city in Europe by cruises.

A British city, Southampton, was seventh in the ranking while Barcelona was the continent’s worst affected.

In 2022, cruise ships caused more pollution in Marseille than all of the cities’ cars put together, according to the report.

Remy, an activist from Marseille’s ‘Stop Croisieres’ campaign group, told local media: “The very principle of bringing together thousands of people on a boat to make floating cities […] will have disastrous and unjustifiable impacts at the time of the climate emergency.”

They complained that as the city moved to ban the most polluting cars from the city centres, cruise ships were still allowed to dock.

Activists also complained of the noise pollution caused by the ships, particularly during the peak summer season.

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In 2022, 50,000 people in Marseille signed a petition calling for an end to the cruise industry in the French city.

The ‘Stop Croisieres’ campaign group claimed that “sustainable cruising does not exist” on Twitter.

But Marseille isn’t the only city to see residents protest against the cruise industry in recent months.

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At several of Norway’s biggest cruise destinations, protestors put up signs calling tourists from the ships ‘parasites’.

Barcelona, the most polluted city by cruises in Europe, has also seen protests with calls for regulation.

According to Transport and Environment, the industry was responsible for more pollution than one billion cars last year.

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