Mega-cruise Ships Looming Over Historic Harbors Spark Debate

Industry figures show worldwide passenger numbers doubling over the past ten years, meaning almost 21 million vacationers took a cruise last year. Such figures have left coastal cities around the world facing the same dilemma: how to balance the quick bucks brought by the rising tide of cruise passengers with the potential negative impact on local quality of life, heritage, the environment and the risk of alienating other tourists. "It's really a big issue," says Erica Avrami, research and education director of the World Monuments Fund. "It's a very difficult type of tourism to manage," she said from the fund's New York headquarters. It's different from simply a lot of tourists, it's the entry of all of them at one time, that really becomes a bit problematic." The WMF, which works to preserve architectural and cultural heritage sites around the world, organized a major international conference on the problems facing historic port cities last February in Charleston, South Carolina. Residents associations there are locked in a dispute with the port authority over plans for a new cruise terminal, which they say will degrade the colonial-era skyline of the city's historic district, on top of increasing pollution and congestion. Supporters counter that the terminal will generate $37 million for the local economy. <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/mega-cruise-ships-looming-over-historic-harbors-spark-debate

Cruise ship has a backyard everywhere it travels

5 years now, they say that this lawn is the most walked lawn in the world. Its a badge of honor particularly because the lawn installed on the top deck of the Solstice has special challenges with growth at sea including burns from the salt water, which must be washed off immediately, and clearance checks by the biosecurity staff before the ship can dock. Environmental officer Nikolas Asproudas points out "burns" in the lawn from salt water. (3 News New Zealand) The lawn is grown in silica sand rather than soil, which not only reduces weight helping the ships stability, but also complies with restrictions and helps control pests that may otherwise stay on the grass. Nikolas sends Captain Yannis Berdos a weekly turf report on the status of the lawn. <br>For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/oddnews/cruise-ship-has-a-backyard-everywhere-it-travels-005140085.html

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