Recent news from Carnival Corporation detailed new ships coming out that will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), a first in the cruise industry. Shell will supply Carnival Corporation’s AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises brands with fuel for two new LNG-powered ships expected to launch in 2019 with itineraries visiting popular northwest European and Mediterranean ports. While North American cruise travelers will not see these green cruise ships any time soon, the planet will enjoy reduced emissions they bring.
Pioneering a new era in the use of alternative fuels that reduce air emissions, these ships will be the first in the cruise industry use LNG to generate 100 percent of the ship’s power both in port and on the open sea – an innovation that will significantly improve air quality to help protect the environment and support Carnival Corporation’s aggressive sustainability goals.
“We are committed to reducing our air emissions and improving air quality by evaluating new and established solutions such as LNG — an especially promising option because of its environmental and other benefits,” said Tom Strang, senior vice president of maritime affairs for Carnival Corporation.
As part of the agreement, these two ships, built with Carnival Corporation’s next-generation “green cruising” ship design, will utilize 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 and produce the most efficient ships in company history.
Carnival Corporation brands operate 101 ships visiting over 700 ports around the world and totaling 225,000 lower berths with 18 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2022. The Carnival Corporation family of brands also includes Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Carnival Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Aida Cruises, and Fathom.
Green cruise ships can be found on other ocean cruise lines as well as river cruise lines. Receiving an A+ rating from environmental watchdog Friends of the Earth: Disney Cruise Line scored highest among all cruise companies. Also ranking above others, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line.
On the rivers of the world, Viking River Cruises green Viking Longship sustainability features include use of energy-efficient hybrid engines which reduce vibrations and associated noise. The ships also have solar panels that help meet the engines fuel requirements.