Carnival Corporation Powering Alaska Tour Buses with Used Cruise Ship Cooking Oil

Holland America Line (logo)Princess Cruises (logo)It’s the classic case of necessity being the mother of invention. And how the pandemic revealed a solution no one saw coming.

Carnival Corporation’s land and sea operations for Holland America Line and Princess Cruises in Alaska rely on a combination of cruise ships, buses, motorcoaches, rail, lodges and hotels to create the ideal vacation to the country’s 49th state and the Last Frontier.

Carnival Corporation and its brands relentlessly seek ways to pioneer new technologies and fuels for the cruise industry in keeping with its unwavering commitment to promoting positive climate action, contributing to a circular economy, and partnering with the communities it visits to be good neighbors.

This story starts pre-pandemic in 2018, as Holland America Princess (HAP), the company’s land-based operations in Alaska, looked for new ways to decrease emissions from its tour buses throughout Juneau. Using biodiesel fuel made from nearby restaurants’ discarded cooking oil, seemed like an ideal solution. Used restaurant oil is one of the ingredients for biodiesel, about 10% of which is mixed with diesel fuel to reduce emissions.

Then, the pandemic hit. Along with the pandemic came the swift and overwhelming decrease in restaurant activity – on land and at sea. Fewer restaurant customers meant less used oil. Less used oil meant fewer resources or ingredients to produce biofuel. As the pandemic dragged on, the local supplier began running low with no backup.

With that drop in supply, Holland America Princess needed a quick solution to keep the buses fueled with biodiesel. So they found one – onboard their ships.

Enter Bill Hagevig, an astute division manager with the company’s land operations and a Juneau native. He and the local supplier came together and devised a plan to have used cooking oil from Discovery Princess isolated onboard and then set aside for use in manufacturing biofuel/biodiesel. After solving offloading procedures in Juneau’s port, testing the oil, and working with the supplier to get it back into land-operation buses, it’s helping fill the supply void left by the restaurants.

“Our goal is to expand this for next summer,” says Hagevig. “This is more about doing the right thing for Alaska than anything else. We have tour buses and vehicles that can accept biodiesel, and I am hopeful we can expand that program into each one.”

It’s the ultimate circular solution, from sea to land, using resources as efficiently and effectively as possible, with tremendous upside for the environment and communities in Alaska.

(Carnival Corporation Powering Alaska Tour Buses with Used Cruise Ship Cooking Oil – Carnival Corporation & plc)