Lindblad Becomes "First Self-Disinfecting Cruise Fleet"


Published Feb 6, 2020 6:00 PM by The Maritime Executive

As the ongoing coronavirus epidemic disrupts cruise operations throughout Asia, Lindblad Expeditions, the cruise operator for National Geographic Expeditions, announced Thursday that it has become "the first self-disenfecting fleet in the cruise industry."

The company has implemented a disinfectant coating solution developed by Danish company ACT.Global, which uses the photocatalytic properties of titanium dioxide to generate free radicals from airborne water molecules. When exposed to light, the coating converts airborne H20 into OH- ions, which break down bacteria, viruses, mold, airborne allergens and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The coating can be applied to all surfaces to give them self-disinfecting qualities, including food-contact surfaces. 

According to Lindblad, ACT.Global's coating creates a cleaner, healthier ship while reducing impact on the environment. The antibacterial spray is transparent and odorless, and it purifies and deodorizes the air for up to one year.

As part of its full cleaning program, Premium Purity, ACT.Global also makes a disinfectant generating system for daily cleaning use. Using water and salt as starting ingredients, its ACT ECA module generates an eco-friendly (and powerfully disinfecting) solution containing hypochlorous acid. Unlike commonplace quaternary ammonium disinfectants, hypochlorous acid deactivates rapidly in the environment. 

“We are very conscious of the waste we produce, and how the cleanliness of our ship and protection of our guests onboard is vital to a healthy environment,” said Bruce Tschampel, VP of hotel operations for Lindblad Expeditions. “Premium Purity is unlike anything we have seen out there. Our ships are truly pristine and healthy, and we already have measurable results to prove it from our initial pilot program on one ship.  We reduced guest reported illness by 50 percent; eliminated over 1,000 plastic bottles of cleaning products; and dramatically reduced water usage by 1.1 million gallons per year.  The crew is raving about how much healthier the ship is and how effective it is to use this solution."

Lindblad says that the decision to switch to Premium Purity is part of a broader push towards sustainable operations. In 2019 Lindblad become a carbon neutral company, purchasing offsets intended to equal 100 percent of emissions from their ships, all land-based operations, employee travel and their offices in New York and Seattle. It has also eliminated guest-facing single-use plastics fleetwide.