Cruise Adviser analysis
Carnival’s green machine
Well, it has been quite a couple of weeks for Carnival Corporation. Having recently announced the launch of its first social impact brand, fathom, the company has since shed further light on the announcement that it is to build nine new ships across its ten brands, Sam Ballard writes.
The news yesterday was that four of those vessels – two of which will be going to German cruise line AIDA – will not only be the biggest cruise ships in operation, at 6,600 passengers, but also the most environmentally friendly cruise ships ever built.
It is about time.
The environmental credentials of the cruise industry has been an uncomfortable subject for cruise lines for decades. The general trend towards bigger ships has certainly not helped. The amount of fuel it takes to run a large ship is immense. The fuel consumption of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas at full power is a mind-boggling 1,377 gallons per hour.
Initiatives such as the International Maritime Organisation’s Emission Control Areas have been designed to legislate against those who fail to uphold the law around the disposal of sewage, air pollution and garbage. However, issues around retro-fitting older tonnage with newer technologies have somewhat hampered progress.
Going green is not easy or inexpensive
Carnival’s four new ships – which will be run on Liquefied Natural Gas – will use what the company calls “the cleanest burning fossil fuel” thus heralding in a new era for the industry. It is a move which should be applauded and also gives them the much feted environmental bragging rights. Going green is not an easy or inexpensive thing to do, but it is necessary for those with the biggest shoulders to carry the most weight and innovate.
It won’t be long before other cruise lines incorporate Liquified Natural Gas onto their own order books, but how long will it be before the industry sees a truly sustainable cruise ship? One that is run by solar panels or even wind turbines?
It may be science fiction right now but if the industry really is serious about ocean conservation maybe what we need to see is the launch of a Prius of the Seas.