Cruise ships pollute Copenhagen’s summer air

Measurements of ultrafine particles from cruise ships in the Danish port of Copenhagen have shown that emissions from cruise ships contribute significantly to air pollution in the port area and in the connected city areas during periods of onshore wind. Throughout May to September, there are on average two cruise ships in the port every day, and onshore winds occur 25–30 per cent of the time.

The Danish Ecological Council concludes that if no action is taken, increasing cruise tourism risks exposing even more people to harmful air pollution, and it therefore recommends to the municipality of Copenhagen and the port of Copenhagen that they should cooperate to:

Build shore power supply facilities at the most attractive cruise berths.

Charge higher port fees to cruise ships that are unable to (or do not) connect to shore power.

Gradually expand the number of shore power supply facilities and exclude cruise ships from entering the port three years after installing shore power supplies at all cruise berths; unless the cruise ships run on gas or have an effective flue gas cleaning system installed.

Coordinate similar actions with the region’s other cruise ports and port authorities.

The report: “Air pollution with ultrafine particles from cruise ships in Copenhagen, Denmark” (November 2017). Published by the Danish Ecological Council. Link:


In this issue