Cruise Ships Are Legally Allowed to Dump Billions of Gallons of Raw Sewage in the Ocean | MotorBiscuit

Taking a cruise can be a fun vacation (at least when there isn’t a pandemic). But where you’ll find lots of people, you’ll find lots of waste. That includes vast quantities of raw sewage. So, where does it all go? Do cruise ships dump feces into the ocean? And do pleasure boats also dump poop? Let’s take a look.

Yes, cruise ships can dump sewage into the ocean

A Royal Caribbean cruise ship sails up the Hudson River in New York City | Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

It is perfectly legal for cruise ships to dump treated sewage in the ocean as long as they are three miles offshore. If dumping untreated sewage, the ship must be located at least 12 miles offshore, moving not less than four knots, and using an approved discharge rate. Alaska has additional regulations for dumping near its waterways.

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