Blog : Meet a Green Alliance Business: Isle of Shoals Steamship Company

By Sam Lane | May 26, 2015 | in

What: With its iconic white 340 passenger vessel M/V Thomas Laighton leading the way, the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company has taken passengers down the Piscataqua River and out to the Isles of Shoals for decades. Each summer, the company offers seasonal daily tours of the Seacoast, and its isles, as well as evening events featuring live music, drinks and food.

Founded by Arnold Whitaker in 1962 as Viking Cruises, today the company is owned and operated by Capt. Jeremy Bell and Capt. Jerod Blanchette. With the addition of a second vessel, the M/V Celia Thaxter in 2014, Bell and Blanchette have made sustainability an integral part of their fleets' design and daily operations.

Recently, the larger, three-deck Thomas Laighton, underwent a full sustainability renovation. All interior lighting was replaced with high-efficiency LEDs that use less mercury and lead than traditional lighting; the new carpet was made from recycled materials and the new ceiling tiles, ceiling grid, and carpet are recyclable. A stainless steel railing system was installed to replace the old railing system, which will last the life of the vessel, and eliminates the need for the epoxy-based paint that was necessary to maintain the old rails. Half of all the demolition waste was either reused, recycled or donated. Both of the vessels also run on a bio-diesel fuel blend from a local supplier and their engine oil waste is recycled.

Also, all beverage containers used at the ships' on-board bars are recyclable. Dockside, the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. reduced the size of its trash Dumpster and installed a single-stream recycling system.

Where: 315 Market St., Portsmouth, N.H. 03801

Web: www.islesofshoals.com

Call: (603) 431-5500

What makes it green:

  • High-efficiency LED lighting throughout vessels.
  • On-board carpets made of recycled materials and can be recycled.
  • New stainless steel railings will last the life of the vessel and eliminate the need for epoxy-based paints.
  • 50 percent of demolition materials during the renovation were either reused, recycled or donated.
  • Vessels run on bio-diesel fuel blend from local supplier.
  • All cups on-board can be recycled.
  • Smaller vessel, M/V Cecilia Thaxter, is used for shorter runs, or those with fewer passengers to reduce fuel usage.
  • Dockside the company reduced the size of its dumpster and installed a single stream recycling system.

All Green Alliance businesses are green certified. Read the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co.'s full certification documents and learn more about its sustainability initiatives and those of more than 100 other local green businesses at www.greenalliance.biz.

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