Carnival Corporation is going green in a big way with three new mega ships slated for delivery in 2020 and 2022.
The Miami-based cruise company said Tuesday that the vessels will be powered by liquefied natural gas, considered to be the cleanest-burning fossil fuel. LNG-powered ships have become increasingly popular among cruise lines that have adopted a more eco-friendly strategy, partly because they satisfy stricter maritime rules that seek to limit harmful emissions.
Two of the new ships will be built for Carnival Cruise Line, making them the first LNG-powered ships in North America. The vessels have been ordered from Finnish shipbuilder Meyer Turku at the company’s Turku, Finland shipyard, where Carnival previously built 12 ships more than a decade ago.
With capacity for 5,200 passengers each at double occupancy, the two new vessels will also be the largest for the cruise line, which already has a fleet of 25 ships plus the Carnival Horizon, set for delivery in 2018.
Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said the cruise line is “thrilled” to be introducing the LNG-powered ships.
“These ships are being designed for maximum energy efficiency and environmental friendliness,” Duffy said in a release.
The third ship will be for P&O Cruises UK, ordered with German shipbuilder Meyer Werft at its shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The new vessel will also be the largest-ever for P&O UK, at a capacity of 5,200 passengers at double occupancy. It is expected to be delivered in 2020.
The agreements for the new ships is contingent upon several conditions, including securing financing.
In total, Carnival Corp. has agreements in place to build seven LNG-powered cruise ships across four of its 10 cruise brands in the coming years. The first two will be with AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises in 2019.
In April, Geneva-based MSC Cruises announced it was building two 5,400-passenger LNG-powered ships set to debut between 2022 and 2026. The cruise line, which has a strong presence in Europe, also has a U.S. office in Fort Lauderdale. Neither cruise line has announced specific routes for their LNG-powered ships.
The largest cruise ships now sailing are Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Each carries 5,400 at double occupancy and uses conventional diesel power.