In line with its vision for an emission-neutral cruising, AIDA Cruises, the German brand of Carnival Corporation, is planning the first practical trial of fuel cells aboard an AIDA ship by 2021, the company said in its sustainability report released Monday.
Together with its global partners, AIDA Cruises has been focusing for many years in research into and the use of alternative propulsion technologies and environmental technology.
As part of its Green Cruising Strategy, for instance, AIDA is exploring the possibility of CO2-free production of LNG from renewable sources (“Power to gas” project) or the use of fuel cells and batteries for cruise ships.
Within the scope of the “Pa-X-ell 2” project -promoted by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure-, practical trials of fuel cells aboard an AIDA ship are planned as early as 2021, in conjunction with the German Meyer Werft shipyard and other partners.
The report further underlines that, by 2023, 94% of all AIDA guests will be sailing on ships that can be fully operated with low-emission LNG or, in port can utilize green shore power.
In December 2018, the company put the world’s first cruise ship that is fully operated by LNG into service. By 2023, two more of these innovative ships will be launched, in addition to the eight other LNG-powered vessels on order for Carnival due for delivery between 2019 and 2025.
As Germany’s market leader for cruises, we accept the ecological and social challenges that we face both now and in the future, and we are taking responsibility. Today we are already exploring together with our partners the use of fuel cells, batteries or liquefied gas from renewable sources in the cruise industry. We are committed to both the Paris climate targets and those of the IMO. Our long-term goal is clear: emission-neutral cruising,
…said AIDA President Felix Eichhorn at the launch of “AIDA cares 2019”.
The use of LNG, shore power from renewable energy sources, the use of modern Advanced Air Quality Systems (AAQS), the reduction or complete elimination of plastic and disposable products, and the reduction of food waste onboard are key issues highlighted in the report.
Key sustainability facts:
-Use of LNG: With AIDAnova’s launch at the end of 2018, the company commissioned the world’s first cruise ship that can be operated entirely with low-emission LNG both at sea and in port. AIDA Cruises will commission two more LNG-powered ships with low-emission propulsion by 2023.
-Use of shore power: On average, an AIDA ship spends 40% of its operating time in port. Ten ships of the AIDA fleet are currently equipped with a shore power connection or are technically prepared for it. All AIDA ships built from 2000 onward (12 ships) will be able to use shore power by the end of 2020.
-Advanced Air Quality Systems: For all AIDA ships that cannot be entirely powered by LNG, Advanced Air Quality Systems developed by Carnival Corporation are currently the most eco-friendly alternative for reducing ship emissions aboard AIDA ships when they are at sea. In 2013, as part of an investment program, AIDA Cruises had already started to retrofit its fleet with these Systems. Currently, nine of 12 AIDA ships have been equipped with them.
-Avoidance of plastic and disposable items: Wherever possible, disposable items have been replaced with reusable ones. Plastic straws have been replaced aboard AIDA ships with straws made of biodegradable starch. AIDA Cruises has already been offering only paper bags in its onboard shops since 2013 and, naturally, all spa and cosmetic items on board are free of microplastics.
-Avoiding food waste: Since the first AIDA ship was commissioned over 20 years ago, AIDA kitchens have been working with what is known as the “cook and chill” system. This means that prepared food is only delivered to the restaurants if it is actually needed. All other food remains refrigerated.