Cruise ships are currently facing the prospect of cruiseship speed limits under a proposal to cut greenhouse emissions in Europe. France is reportedly putting forward the plan to IMO (International Maritime Organisation) in May. It's being suggested to help the cruise industry to meet an international target of halving greenhouse emissions by 2050.
The limits could restrict cargo ships to their present average of around 16 Kn (18 mph). Previously they sailed at up to 24 Kn. The largest impact of the proposal could be on cruise vessels, which have average speeds of around 15 Kn and a top speed of 22 Kn.
The French proposal, that would introduce the first limits in international waters, says that “speed reduction leads to a significant emissions reduction and it can be implemented quickly: it is the only measure that requires little or no technical adaptation of the ships”.
These limits could be enforced by the state where each cruise ship is registered, using the satellite-linked automatic identification system, that shows its position, speed, and course.