While gas-powered cars are rightfully criticized for their environmental footprint, they don’t even come close to the amount of pollution emitted by cruise liners. Indeed, while cars receive the brunt of the criticism, a recent study found that the world’s largest luxury cruise operator pollutes the air almost 10 times more than all the cars in Europe. The good news is that cleaner options are on their way.

Recently, the world’s first plug-in hybrid cruiser started its maiden voyage. The 500-passenger vessel, which is designed to travel through rough waters and is run by Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten, set off to Alaska this week on its first-ever battery-powered expedition.

While the ship still runs on traditional marine diesel fuel, it is also equipped with a battery pack capable of running the ship only on electricity for 45 to 60 minutes. That may not sound like a lot, but apparently, it reduces the ship’s emissions by about 20 percent. And as we advance towards fully-electric cruise liners, this may be the best option we currently have.

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