Like a delicate swan did the gleaming ship glide into God’s glorious canyon — the Bay of Kotor. Your brilliant white Norwegian Star cruise liner dwarfed by the ancient, craggly cliffs and crevices. Slowly, your thousands of awed passengers passed the medieval Montenegrin villages of Perast, Orahovac, and Prčanj and centuries old churches with names like St. Djordje and St. Matije.
We were witnesses; some the lucky few at sea side, enjoying the magic of Boka Kotorska on that summery, early-September afternoon. We watched and photographed the surreal scene – a juxtaposition of geologic splendor and marvelous maritime machine.
Within minutes, the whole picture postcard was frozen right in front of us. The angelic Norwegian Star slowed to a stop and small tender boats were lowered to take her passengers portside to the timeless, UNESCO-protected, walled city of Kotor.
As we observed the precision disembarkation, we also noticed a growing haze – almost a halo – above and around your magnificent vessel. Soon, the shimmering water, buildings and mountainside across the bay took on an even more mystical appearance – filtered through an ethereal mist of diesel fumes. Indeed, the hillside chapel and cemetery of Stara Zupna have likely never appeared so gauzy and heavenly.
At the same time, the noxious odor of diesel exhaust began to assault our senses. We noticed occasional, concentrated, ‘atom-bomb’ shaped plumes spewing skyward from the ship’s smokestack – further fouling the afternoon. And it seemed unfair. Your gluttonous cruise customers bingeing at the buffet, buying a few souvenirs in port, then departing — as their ship defiles the lives of families, fishermen, and sunbathers, like us, on shore.
After more than two hours, we retreated — gasping. The whole of Kotor Bay was now shrouded in the putrid Norwegian Cruise crude haze. Upon returning home, we discovered that even our clean clothing, that had been outside drying during the day, now reeked of your fossil fuel flatulence.
In this stunningly picturesque place, your diesel soot – illuminated by the late-day sunbeams, and stinking to high heaven – seemed an utter insult to time and nature and the beauty of God’s creation. No doubt your company has great love for the earth as it relates to pleasure and profits. But please do more to stop polluting the most precious and pristine places on our wondrous planet.
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