Carnival Corp.’s green cruising plan soon to include battery-powered ships

MIAMI — It’s a sign of things to come: Carnival Corporation’s popular German brand AIDA Cruises has inked an agreement with Corvus Energy, the world’s leading marine battery supplier, to install and operate lithium-ion battery storage systems onboard AIDA’s fleet.

The green initiative starts in 2020, when the first AIDA ship will begin to go electric.

Carnival Corp. says the goal of the partnership is to – for the first time – allow for the practical use of electrical energy from battery storage systems onboard large cruise ships.

AIDA’s pilot program in electrification will test the system’s use of stored battery power for emission-free ship operation for an extended period as well as to meet onboard energy needs.

Following the pilot electrification program aboard an AIDA vessel, the effort will expand to another Carnival Corp. brand, Costa Cruises.

“Our goal is to reach emission-neutral ship operation. The electrification of our ships is another important step on this path,” says Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia, said of the partnership. “Thanks to the cooperation with Corvus Energy, in just a few months AIDA Cruises will for the first time launch this innovative technology on a large cruise ship.”

One of the most renowned suppliers of marine batteries, Norwegian-Canadian company Corvus Energy is known as a pioneer in the development of maritime energy storage systems.

The introduction of battery power to ships is the latest in a series of innovations that supports Carnival Corporation’s ‘green cruising’ strategy, which includes the introduction of new technologies, approaches and investments in sustainable cruising.

In December 2018 AIDA Cruises made history with the introduction of the world’s first cruise ship capable of being powered in port and at sea by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel.

The introduction of LNG to power cruise ships is a major achievement in green cruising that supports the company’s environmental goals with the virtual total elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95% to 100% reduction). The use of LNG will also substantially reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide.

In total, Carnival Corp. has an additional 10 next-generation ‘green’ cruise ships on order, including Costa Smeralda, which will be the second of the corporation’s ships to be powered by LNG when it joins the Costa Cruises fleet in October.