Carnival Begins Construction on First Fully LNG-Powered Cruise Ship

aidanova keel laying
The first steel block for AIDAnova weighs about 120 tonnes and is approx. 5 meters wide, 8.20 meters high and 21 meters long. Photo: Meyer Werft

German shipbuilder Meyer Werft has laid the keel for the first of Carnival Corporation’s seven new next-generation cruise ships that will be fully-powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The steel block for the cruise ship AIDAnova (S.696) was laid during a ceremony on Tuesday at Meyer Werft’s covered building dock in Papenburg, Germany.

AIDAnova is the first of two LNG-powered ships planned for Carnival Corp.’s AIDA brand. Delivery is scheduled for Fall 2018, followed by the second ship in 2021.

The 183,900 GT AIDAnova will be powered by four innovative, low-emission LNG engines provided by Caterpillar. The power plant was built at NEPTUN WERFT in Warnemünde, Germany.

In addition to the two cruise ships for AIDA, Carnival Corp. has ordered another five LNG-powered ships to be built at Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku. All seven have delivery dates between 2018 to 2022.

A steel-cutting ceremony for Carnival Corp.’s second LNG-powered ship, which is being built for the Costa Cruises brand, is scheduled at the Meyer Turku shipyard in the coming week. Delivery is scheduled for 2019.

Together, these ships will be the first in the cruise industry that can use LNG to generate 100 percent of their power both in port and at sea, drastically reducing exhaust emissions.

“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, the corporation’s CEO. “We are committed to continuing to reduce air emissions and improving air quality by evaluating both new and established solutions, including LNG.”

In October 2016, Carnival Corp. signed a framework agreement with Shell Western LNG B.V. (Shell) to be its supplier of LNG fuel to power the first the two new LNG ships for AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises with itineraries visiting popular European ports.

LNG-powered ships are also planned for Carnival Cruise Lines and P&O Cruises in 2020. Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises will each receive one additional LNG-powered ship in 2021, followed by a second LNG-powered ship for Carnival Cruise Line in 2022.

“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,” added Palmer. “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.”

In 2015, as a pilot project, AIDAsol became 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 while in port. Its sister ship, AIDAperla, debuted this April with the same technology.