Princess Cruises fined for probation violation

Princess Cruises has pleaded guilty to a second violation of probation imposed in a 2017 criminal conviction for environmental crimes because it failed to establish and maintain an independent internal investigative office, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

In a statement Jan. 12, the department said Princess was ordered to pay an additional $1 million and will be required to undertake remedial measures to ensure the cruise line and its parent company, Carnival Corp., establish and maintain an independent investigative office.

“Princess admitted that internal investigators had not been allowed to determine the scope of their investigations, and that draft internal investigations had been impacted and delayed by management,” the Department of Justice said.

Princess was fined $40 million in 2017 for illegal discharge of oil-contaminated water and intentional acts to cover it up. In 2019, Princess was convicted of six probation violations and fined an additional $20 million, according to the department, which said two of those violations involved interfering with the court’s supervision by sending undisclosed teams to ships to prepare them for the independent inspections required during probation.

“Documents filed in court showed that one purpose of the vessel visit programs was to avoid adverse findings by the independent outside auditors working on behalf of the court,” the department said.

The 2017 conviction resulted from a dumping violation that occurred in waters off the coast of England in 2013, the department said. Earlier probation violations occurred while Carnival ships were operating in U.S. waters.

In an email, Carnival spokesperson Roger Frizzle said the company had been working in good faith throughout the course of its probation and has implemented changes outlined in the court order.

A cruise ship operated by Holland America, a Carnival Corp. subsidiary, self-reported an illegal 2018 spill of 22,000 gallons of untreated gray water in Glacier Bay. The state fined Holland America $17,000 for the violation.


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