The first block of AIDAnova’s keel is lowered into place during the ceremony
German shipbuilder Meyer Werft has laid the first keel block for AIDA Cruises’ new AIDAnova, which will become the first cruise ship in the world to be powered by LNG fuel in port and at sea when she debuts in autumn 2018.
Held on 6 September during Seatrade Europe in Hamburg, Germany, the keel-laying ceremony was attended by AIDA president Felix Eichhorn; Bernard Meyer and Tim Meyer, both CEOs of Meyer Werft shipyard; and Arnold Donald, president and CEO of AIDA’s parent company Carnival Corporation. Other attendees included Michael Thamm, CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia; David Dingle, chairman Carnival UK (P&O Cruises UK); and Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises.
Two trainees, AIDA’s Louisa Tröbner and Meyer Werft’s Martin de Boer placed the traditional lucky coin under the first of a total of AIDAnova’s 90 blocks.
“One of the main tasks AIDA Cruises sets itself is to make cruises sustainable,” said Eichhorn. “With AIDAnova and her sister ship, we are sticking to this course with our pioneering work. Thanks to our trailblazing green cruising design, the use of only LNG in the cruise industry will become a reality in 2018.”
AIDAnova is the first of seven 180,000gt, 5,200-guest LNG-powered cruise ships that will be built by the Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku shipyards for four Carnival Corporation brands. Costa Cruises will take delivery of an LNG ship in 2019, followed by Carnival Cruise Line and P&O Cruises (UK) in 2020. AIDA and Costa will each receive a second LNG-powered ship in 2021, and Carnival Cruise Line will take delivery of another in 2022.
Using four dual-fuel engines and LNG in both the open sea and at port will almost completely eliminate the ships’ particulate matter and sulphur dioxide emissions, and significantly reduce nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide 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. 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.”
In October 2016, Carnival Corporation signed a framework agreement with Shell Western LNG (Shell) to supply marine LNG to power for the first two of its new LNG ships for AIDA and Costa, which will sail itineraries to European ports. As part of the agreement, the ships will use Shell’s infrastructure in cruise ports to refuel with LNG throughout their itineraries.