Shell to Fuel First LNG-Powered Cruise Ships

Photo: gary yim / Shutterstock.com
Photo: gary yim / Shutterstock.com

Cruise ship giant Carnival Corporation has signed an agreement with Royal Dutch Shell to supply the liquified natural gas bunker fuel for the world’s first fully LNG-powered cruise ships.

Under the agreement, signed between Carnival and Shell Wester LNG BV, Shell will initially supply Carnival’s AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises brands with LNG fuel for two new LNG-powered ships expected to launch in 2019. The agreement says the two vessels will be able to use Shell’s infrastructure in cruise ports to refuel with LNG throughout their itineraries in northwestern Europe and the Mediterranean.

Equipped with dual-fuel engines, the vessels will be the first ocean-going cruise ships to be fully powered by LNG while in port and at sea. Last April, Carnival Corporation’s AIDA Cruises brand hired Shell to supply LNG fuel to its AIDAprima, the first cruise ship in the world to use LNG fuel while in port.

Carnival Corp. described the use of clean-burning LNG fuel on its cruise ships as an industry breakthrough that will improve air quality in ports and at sea.

“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. “We are proud to be on the forefront of advancing LNG as a fuel source for the cruise industry and creating an entirely new model for powering next-generation cruise ships. We look forward to a productive partnership with Shell, which has the experience and shared commitment to quality, safety and operational efficiency needed to help us bring this innovative LNG initiative to life with the first fully LNG-powered ships in the global cruise industry.”

In September, Carnival Corp. ordered three additional next-generation cruise ships that will be fully powered by LNG, bringing its fully LNG-powered ship orders total to seven across four of its 10 global cruise lines. Two of the new LNG-powered ships are designated Carnival Cruise Line with delivery dates expected in 2020 and 2022, and one is designated for P&O Cruises UK with an expected delivery date in 2020. The remaining two vessels will also be built for the Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises brands and are expected to enter service in 2021.

Carnival says the framework of the agreement with Shell allows both companies expand the partnership to include future LNG-powered vessels or additional itineraries. The framework also allows each Carnival Corporation brand to negotiate individual LNG supply contracts with Shell as new LNG-powered cruise ships launch.