Carnival Corporation & plc marked the official beginning of construction for the first of its seven next-generation cruise ships that will be fully-powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) with a keel-laying ceremony at Seatrade Europe in Hamburg.
Pioneering a new era in the use of low-carbon fuels, these new ships will be the first in the cruise industry that can use LNG to generate 100% of their power both in port and on the open sea – an innovation that will reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment and support Carnival Corporation's aggressive sustainability goals.
These seven ships, with delivery dates between 2018 and 2022, will be built by Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku.
Arnold Donald, president and CEO, Carnival Corporation, together with Bernard Meyer, CEO, Meyer Yards, Michael Thamm, CEO, Costa Group and Carnival Asia, and representatives of three of the Carnival Corporation brands that will receive the LNG ships – David Dingle, chairman, Carnival UK; Neil Palomba, president, Costa Cruises; and Felix Eichhorn, president, AIDA Cruises – gave the official ‘full steam ahead’ signal for the keel laying of the first ship of the new LNG generation, AIDAnova, which will be delivered by Meyer Werft Papenburg in fall 2018.
"Today marked a significant milestone in the construction of this next-generation of Carnival Corporation ships featuring our 'green cruising' design, which will be the most environmentally friendly ships in our company's history," said Donald.
"We are committed to continuing to reduce air emissions and improving air quality by evaluating both new and established solutions, including LNG. We are proud to be on the forefront of advancing LNG as a fuel source for the cruise industry, and we appreciate our long-standing partnership with Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku. We look forward to the delivery of these beautiful and innovative ships that will help us meet our top goal – to provide extraordinary vacation experiences for our guests that exceed all of their expectations," added Donald.
"We thank Carnival Corporation and AIDA Cruises very much for their trust and their pioneering decision to implement LNG technology onboard their cruise ships," said Meyer. "The corresponding infrastructure is now being developed at numerous ports – Carnival Corporation has made a decision that not only benefits the environment, but that also is highly important for the whole cruise industry," added Meyer.
Following the introduction of AIDAnova in 2018, Carnival Corporation's Costa Cruises brand will debut the industry's next cruise ship that can be powered completely by LNG on the open seas in 2019 – the first steel-cutting ceremony for this ship is scheduled at the Meyer Turku shipyard in the coming week.
LNG-powered ships for Carnival Cruise Line and P&O Cruises (UK) will follow in 2020. Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises will each receive an additional LNG-powered ship in 2021, followed by an additional LNG-powered ship for Carnival Cruise Line in 2022.
In October 2016, Carnival Corporation signed a framework agreement with Shell Western LNG B.V. (Shell) to be its supplier of marine LNG to power the first two of its new LNG ships for AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises with itineraries visiting popular European ports. As part of the agreement, the ships will utilise Shell's infrastructure in cruise ports to refuel with LNG throughout their itineraries.
The vessels, equipped with dual-fuel engines, are the first of a new generation of cruise ships fully powered by LNG both while in port and at sea – an industry first and an environmental breakthrough that will improve air quality with cleaner emissions.
In 2015, as a pilot project, AIDAsol from the company's AIDA Cruises brand was the first cruise ship in the world to be supplied with power by an LNG Hybrid barge and, last year, the newly delivered AIDAprima became the first cruise ship to routinely use LNG with a dual-fuel powered engine while in port. Its sister ship, AIDAperla, debuted this April with the same technology.