The cruise industry is indeed thriving, and to keep up with demand, the world’s largest cruise company is adding 19 more ships to its fleets over the next 8 years – including four environmentally-friendly vessels, slated as the largest in the world in terms of passenger capacity.
Carnival Corporation currently owns nine cruise brands – Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Seabourn, Cunard, AIDA, P&O, P&O Australia and Costa – and announced earlier this year that 10 next-generation design cruise ships would be added to its fleets by 2018, followed by an additional nine ships over a four-year period beginning in 2019, to be deployed to destinations in North America, Europe and China.
Enviro-Aware with World First in Fuel
Last month the global cruise leader announced that four of those ships will be 180,000-ton environmentally friendly vessels with a capacity of 6,600 passengers. The ships’ engines will run on liquefied natural gas – the cleanest burning fossil fuel – which will be stored on-board, and will exceed ECA requirements.
The new ships will be the first globally to sail harnessing liquefied natural gas power, though Roger Frizzell, senior vice president of corporate communications and chief communications officer for Carnival Corp., says the cost of LNG fuel isn't expected to impact cruise fares.
Construction will be handled by German shipbuilder Meyer Werft, with two of the ships being built in Papenburg, Germany, and two in Turku, Finland.
You’ll Need to Head to Europe to Sail Them
Want to experience one of these world-first vessels for yourself? Australian passengers will need to jump on a long-haul flight for the privilege.
Two of the four environmentally-friendly, large capacity ships will sail under AIDA, Carnival Corporation's German line, while the other two are being built for the Costa Group, which includes AIDA and Italian line Costa.
Mr Frizzel said the decision to deploy two of the world-first vessels to AIDA was due to the burgeoning German cruise market.
"It's one of the fastest growing markets in the world. It's number-two in the world right now, and as a result, there's pent-up demand for cruising. This is part of our plan to meet that demand and increase our fleet."
While the ships’ 6,600-passenger capacity will make them the largest ships in the world by number of passengers, Carnival Corp. President and CEO Arnold Donald says they will still be small enough to call on most ports.