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At Caterpillar in Rostock-Warnemünde the LNG engines are being built for AIDAnova

Energy and emissions management

Reducing emissions, conserving resources

One of the greatest challenges in protecting the environment both on land and at sea is reducing emissions. In order to continue to reduce the levels of these emissions, we are committed to developing alternative options for electricity generation and usage in shipping traffic. We believe the key question is not so much what kind of fuel we use, but how we can best and most effectively reduce our emissions.

We are supporting the phased plan developed by the IMO (International Maritime Organization) aimed at reducing ships’ emissions and even implement measures that go beyond this initiative. Essentially, the use of low-sulphur fuels in important travel areas of AIDA has already been a reality for several years. In the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, off the coast of America and in a number of other Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA), we exclusively use low-sulphur fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.1 percent. Our engines have run exclusively on marine diesel oil with a maximum sulphur content of 0.1 percent in all of the European ports since 2010.

AIDA has done this voluntarily in the port of Hamburg since 2007. Together with Hamburg representatives, in the last few years a pioneering project has been implemented that focusses on using alternative energy sources in the Port of Hamburg.

The overall savings in the cruise industry have positive effects: a study carried out by the University of Delft in April 2016, which was commissioned by the ‘Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union’ (NABU), confirmed the significant decline in emissions in the North Sea and Baltic regions thanks to the use of low-sulphur fuels.

Ships are the most efficient means of transport, with emission levels as measured by transport capacity that are several times less than those of other modes of transport (lorry, train, aircraft). In addition to offering a means of transport, cruise ships also offer hotel accommodation, restaurants and leisure activities. These additional services also leave their mark on our energy balance. With regard to CO2 emissions, cruise ships have been demonstrated to be one of the most efficient means of transport.

We have put in place various steps to reduce our energy consumption. As a result, we have been able to lower the total on board energy consumption per person per day again in comparison with the previous year.

More information in chapter: AIDA in figures

LNG - AIDA’s fuel for the future

We are pioneers in the use of LNG in cruise shipping because we are convinced that, based on the current state of science and technology, the most eco-friendly method of powering future generations of cruise ships will be with LNG.

Of all of the fossil fuels currently available, LNG (liquefied natural gas) is the most environmentally-friendly fuel that produces the least emissions. In comparison with conventional marine gas oil (MGO) with 0.1 percent sulphur content, the emissions from using LNG are drastically lower. Emissions of sulphur oxide and particulate matter are reduced to almost zero. Nitrogen oxide emission levels are reduced by up to 80 percent and CO2 emissions are lessened by around 20 percent.

We have been pioneers in the use of LNG in cruise shipping for more than 10 years now. In 2011, we commissioned the world's first cruise ships that can be operated on LNG while stay in port - AIDAprima and AIDAperla. Together with the Hamburg-based company Becker Marine Systems, in 2014 we developed the pilot project for the first LNG Hybrid Barge (a floating liquefied gas power station) for the energy supply of cruise ships in ports. The LNG Hybrid Barge was successfully used for the first time to supply an AIDA ship in 2015 in Hamburg's HafenCity.


Reduction of particulate matter and sulphur dioxide by –100 %,
nitrogen oxide by –80 % and CO2 by –20 %

On the day of her christening in Hamburg - 7th May 2016 - AIDAprima became the first cruise ship in the world to be supplied with LNG while docked in port. Immediately following this premiere we were able to supply our ships with LNG in the ports of Southampton (UK), Le Havre (France), Zeebrugge (Belgium) and Rotterdam (The Netherlands). In the last months we were also able to start the LNG operations in Funchal/Madeira (Portugal) and Barcelona (Spain). Plans are in place to commence LNG operations in the Mediterranean ports of Barcelona (Spain), Marseille (France) and Civitavecchia (Italy) later in 2018. We are also holding discussions with Palma de Mallorca (Spain) and Kiel (Germany).

On 30th June, the twelfth member of our fleet was christened in Palma de Mallorca - AIDAperla. She is our second ship that can be run on low-emission liquefied natural gas during port stays, and is currently serving the "Metropolises from Hamburg 1" route.

When AIDA Cruises commissioned the first two cruise ships capable of being powered solely with LNG in the summer of 2015, the company gave a clear signal of its intent to reduce its emissions even further. The first steel cut in the construction of AIDAnova was made on 21st February 2017, and the ship is due to be launched in November 2018. Two sister ships will follow in 2021 and 2023. In February 2018 AIDA Cruises announced the construction of a third new-generation ship that will be built at shipyard Meyer Werft in Papenburg. In five years, more than half of all AIDA guests will spend their holidays on ships that are able to utilize low-emission LNG.

Ports with planned LNG supply

What is LNG?

LNG (liquefied natural gas) is obtained from natural gas, a carbon compound that principally consists of methane (but also of ethane, propane, butane, ethene and pentane). Aside from being obtained from fossil fuel deposits, LNG can also be produced from renewable energy sources, albeit currently in small quantities.

At temperatures below -163° Celsius, under atmospheric pressure natural gas becomes a liquid, and is therefore more transportable and storable. LNG is stored in thermally insulated tank containers, which can be transported by lorry, train or tanker.

The safety of using LNG to power a ship

The use of LNG in shipping is regulated by the International Code of Safety for Ship Using Gases or Other Low-flashpoint Fuels, or the IGF Code. The code contains mandatory stipulations for the design, assembly, control and monitoring of machines, equipment and systems in which fuels with a low flash point (such as LNG) are used.

LNG has an excellent safety profile: it is a high-energy fuel which dissipates very slowly in air. At 580°C, the auto ignition temperature of LNG is much higher than that of diesel fuel at 250°C.

How does the LNG supply work?

Shore power

AIDAsol being supplied with shore power in Hamburg.

On average, AIDA ships spend around 40 percent
of their operational life in a port.

Even while moored, they are supplied with energy
to ensure that onboard systems continue to operate.

A decisive factor in our choice to use shore power on AIDA ships is that electricity is produced in a more eco-friendly manner on land than it can be using modern equipment on the ships themselves. However, shore power only contributes to conserving the environment if it uses green electricity (generated using renewable sources).

Of the twelve ships currently in the AIDA fleet, three ships - AIDAprima, AIDAperla and AIDAsol - are already fitted with shore power connections, two ships (AIDAbella and AIDAluna) will be retrofitted in 2018 and a further four ships are prepared to use shore power.

Following completion of the test phase in 2016, together with our partners in Hamburg AIDA Cruises took a further step in 2017 towards conserving the environment and improving air quality in Hamburg. Since late April 2017, AIDAsol has been supplied with 100 percent green electricity by means of a shore power system while moored during a total of twelve calls in Hamburg Altona. In 2018, AIDAsol will stay in Hamburg-Altona 22 times and will then be supplied with shore power. It is the declared goal of AIDA Cruises to equip all ships by 2020 with a shore power connection.

How does the shore power supply in Hamburg work?

Exhaust gas cleaning

Years worth of research work within the Carnival Group on the so-called EGCS (Exhaust Gas Cleaning System), a complex and multi-stage system that treats exhaust gases, has resulted in the design of the components that reduce emissions of particulates and sulphur and nitrogen oxides being sufficiently compact that they can be combined in such a way that means they fit inside a cruise ship.

Nitrogen oxides are broken down into oxygen and nitrogen in a catalytic converter, and particulates and fuel residues are sieved out by a filter. Sulphur dioxide (SO2 and SO3) is moreover converted into sulphite (SO32-) through the addition of sea water and then released back into the sea with the washing water. It is sulphate (SO42-) that is formed from sulphite through this process, which is one of the most common and natural compounds in the earth’s oceans.

With this technology, we are able to reduce emissions of particulates, nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxides by between 90 and 99 percent. Furthermore, emissions of carbon monoxide are reduced by 70 percent and unburned hydrocarbons by 85 percent.

We have already retrofitted seven of the ships in our fleet with EGCS. Most recently, AIDAblu was fitted with an exhaust gas cleaning system in November 2017. We have set ourselves the goal of equipping all ships of the existing fleet, which were built after 2000, and cannot be operated entirely with LNG, with exhaust gas cleaning systems by 2020.

More information: Sustainability report of Carnival Corporation & plc

Exhaust gas cleaning
Click to enlarge

Reducing consumption of fuel

The best ton of fuel is the one that we never used in the first place. In comparison with levels in 2007, we have been able to reduce our fuel consumption per guest and per day of travel by more than a third. An AIDA ship now consumes an average of just three liters of fuel per person for every 100 kilometers travelled.

By implementing numerous measures aimed at improving energy efficiency and hydrodynamics, we have been able further to reduce the fuel consumption of AIDAprima and AIDAperla.

Verringerung des Treibstoffverbrauches



Hydrodynamics and Energy Monitoring

Hydrodynamics and MALS Technology


Alongside reducing emissions, increasing energy efficiency is another vital criteria for running a ship in an environmentally friendly manner. Considerable energy savings can be made on AIDAprima and AIDAperla thanks to the optimized hydrodynamic design of their hulls. These two cruise ships are additionally equipped with innovative MALS technology (MALS = Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System). This allows the ship to glide along on a carpet of air bubbles, which considerably reduces friction and conserves drive power. The drive is installed in a streamlined nacelle and is able to rotate 360° around its vertical axis, which makes the ship extremely maneuverable.

The latest pod drives likewise make a significant contribution to reducing fuel consumption.

How does the MALS technology work? Watch movie here.

Innovative energy management and monitoring

All of our ships are equipped with the integrated energy management system “EMMA”, developed by ABB. Our ships are moreover all connected to the corporation-wide “Neptune” data platform. In addition to constructing a comprehensive database of operational and technical information, the key benefit of the system is its ability to provide decision-making support in real time in order to optimize the running of the ship and its systems.

The seven most important categories that can be monitored with EMMA are drive power, propulsion efficiency, trimming, energy supply, waste heat utilization, air conditioning, specific and general fuel consumption. The systems and individual nominal values on board can thus be adjusted if necessary with the aim of ensuring that the ship is running efficiently.

Innovative energy management and monitoring

Waste heat recovery and absorption chillers

Waste heat recovery and absorption chillers
Abwärmenutzung und Absorptionskältemaschinen