Princess Cruise Lines has agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges for illegally discharging oily waste into the sea and lying about it. It also will pay a $40 million penalty – the largest criminal penalty ever levied for deliberate vessel pollution, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.
Princess is a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise company. As part of the plea agreement with Princess, cruise ships from eight Carnival cruise line companies will be under a court supervised Environmental Compliance Program for five years.
The U.S. investigation began after information was provided to the U.S. Coast Guard by the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency that a newly hired engineer on the Caribbean Princess reported a so-called “magic pipe” had been used on Aug. 23, 2013, to illegally discharge oily waste off the coast of England.