Leisure travel company Carnival Corporation has begun construction of the world’s first fully LNG-powered cruise ship.

Marking the occasion with a keel-laying ceremony at Seatrade Europe in Hamburg, the vessel will be the first of seven next-generation cruise ships that will be powered by LNG.

carnival keel laying ceremony

Source: Carnival Corporation

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 leading German and Finnish shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku.

Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation, together with Bernard Meyer, CEO of Meyer Yards, Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia, and representatives of three of the Carnival Corporation brands that will receive the LNG ships – David Dingle, chairman of Carnival UK; Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises; and Felix Eichhorn, president of 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.

carnival keel laying group

From left to right: Felix Eichhorn, Arnold Donald, Bernard Meyer, Michael Thamm, David Dingle and Neil Palomba

Source: Carnival Corporation

Speaking at the keel-laying ceremony, Arnold Donald said, “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. We are committed to continuing to reduce air emissions and improving air quality by evaluating both new and established solutions, including LNG.”

He added, “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.”

Pioneering LNG Fuel for the Cruise Industry

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.