Locals activists take to paddle boards to protest cruise ship

A new battleground down under has opened up between climate action protestors and the cruise industry. A new campaign started in New Zealand as the cruise ship Majestic Princess was leaving Port Chalmers in Otago Harbour.

majestic princess los angeles
Majestic Princess in Los Angeles

Peaceful Protest by Paddleboard

The ship was met by two paddleboarders brandishing a banner reading “Climate Liberation Aotearoa, They Cruise — We Lose.” It is the first protest specifically targeting the cruise industry by Climate Liberation Aotearoa, but they said it won’t be the last.

The group was previously known as Restore Passenger Rail, advocating for increased investment in public transportation. It has now broadened its area of activism to include “floating hotels.”

First Protest of its Kind in Dunedin

The paddleboarders kept their distance from the cruise ship, didn’t disrupt its passage out of the port, and broke no laws, it says. Earlier in the day, protestors handed out an informational leaflet to passengers highlighting the environmental impact of cruise ships.

“We are asking the passengers themselves to join us and demand that cruise ship companies pay for the emissions they produce. It’s time to end the free ride,” said protester Bruce Mahalski. “These ships engines are always burning carbon rich marine diesel oil, even when in port.”

Climate Liberation calls on the New Zealand government to add cruise ships and aviation to its emissions budgets and reduction plans.

It is a popular port of call for major cruise operators. Port Chalmers is the gateway for visits to the historic sights of Dunedin and surrounding nature and wildlife, which includes penguin and albatross spotting tours.

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