Advisory: Port communities around the globe decry cruise industry on World Oceans Day

May 29, 2020

June 8 at 12pm PDT: Activists from multiple countries to host virtual rally to demand cruise ships switch to cleaner fuels, end ocean dumping, adopt strong climate targets, and protect workers

SAN FRANCISCO — Activists living in port communities around the world who are concerned about clean air and healthy oceans will host a virtual “Rally to Clean Up Cruising” on Monday, June 8, during World Oceans Day to decry the cruise industry’s pollution-as-usual practices of putting profits over people. The port community groups will call for the cruise industry to switch to cleaner fuels, end ocean dumping, adopt strong climate targets, and protect workers before passengers embark on future cruises after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.  

This virtual rally, which will take place on Zoom at 12 p.m. PDT, represents a unique opportunity for the public to hear directly from port communities about the collective toll the cruise industry takes on our air — and thus our public health — our oceans, and the climate. Organizers expect between 500-1,000 people to attend.

WHAT: A virtual “Rally to Clean Up Cruising for World Oceans Day” where activists living in Nassau, Bahamas; Juneau and Hoonah, Alaska; Venice, Italy; Rockland, Maine; Bergen, Norway; Gold Coast, Australia; and Southampton, UK will speak about their experiences with the cruise industry.

The rally will also be used as an opportunity to deliver a petition to Carnival Corporation, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Royal Caribbean signed by more than 20,000 people. The petition highlights how the COVID-19 scandal has thrust the cruise industry into the global spotlight, and demands that if cruise companies want to regain their social license and set sail again, they must listen to the public’s demands switch to cleaner fuels, end ocean dumping, adopt strong climate targets, and protect workers.

WHEN: Monday, June 8 at 11 a.m. AKDT / 12 p.m. PDT / 3 p.m. EDT / 9 p.m. CEST

WHERE: The virtual rally will be held on Zoom. Participants interested in joining can RSVP at

WHO: Activists living in port communities around the world will speak during the virtual rally, including:

  • Sam Duncombe of Nassau, Bahamas: Duncombe is a lifelong Bahamas resident and co-founder of environmental group reEarth. For several years, she lived across from Nassau’s cruise ship terminal, the fifth largest in the world. In 2019, Duncombe and several other activists filed an emergency motion in Miami federal court to intervene in the case against Carnival Corporation’s environmental crimes. The motion and appeal were denied.
  • Karla Hart of Juneau, Alaska: Hart lives near a cruise port terminal that sees over one million passengers a year. She is concerned about the vertical integration of the cruise industry, which has destroyed independent tourism in Alaska.
  • Wanda Culp of Hoonah, Alaska: Culp is an Indigenous Tlingit activist who is concerned about the cruise industry’s impacts on Glacier Bay National Park, the traditional territory of the Tlingit people. In 2018, Carnival Corporation’s Holland America Line committed a felony inside the park when it illegally dumped untreated greywater and failed to report it to the Coast Guard. 
  • Jane da Mosto of Venice, Italy: Jane is the co-founder of We Are Here Venice. Da Mosto is an environmental scientist, sustainable development expert, and activist that mixes her passions to help the international community better understand Venice’s fragile condition as a “living city.”
  • Ruth Starr or Rockland, Maine: Starr is a member of the Alliance for Responsible Tourism, a community group that highlights the challenges posed by large cruise ships for small towns like Rockland.
  • Klaus Gjukastein of Bergen, Norway: Gjukastein leads a group of global citizens who work to end sweatshop exploitation in the cruise industry and bring justice to cruise ship workers.
  • Steve Gration of Gold Coast, Australia: Gration is president of Save Our Spit Alliance, a community campaign to protect the public parks, waterways, and beaches on the Gold Coast Spit. Since 1986, community opposition has successfully stopped all cruise port proposals.

  • Dr. Christelle Blunden of Southampton, UK: Blunden is a local physician turned climate activist who is worried about the air pollution impacts of the cruise industry in Southampton, which is the 17th largest cruise port in the world. 
  • Moderator: Kendra Ulrich of Ulrich is the Shipping Campaigns Director at, where she leads a campaign working to end the use of heavy fuel oil on cruise ships. She regularly participates in negotiations at the International Maritime Organization. 

The virtual rally is organized by, a North American-based environmental organization that campaigns to end the use of heavy fuel oil on cruise ships.

Cruise executives from Carnival Corporation, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, and MSC Cruises were invited to attend the virtual rally and accept the petition. No companies have yet responded.


Media contacts: 

Virginia Cleaveland, Communications Manager,, +1 510 858 9902 (PDT)
Dave Walsh, Media Advisor,, +34 691 826 764 (CEST)