The cruise industry recently took a big step forward when Florida headquartered Carnival Corp & PLC ordered four new cruise ships. The new 6,600 passenger cruise ships will be the world’s largest and the world’s first at sea
to be powered by liquefied natural gas.
The cruise industry, known for its traditional releases of raw sewage and dirty fuel, has long been a bull’s eye for environmentalists. The new cleaner burning fuel will also help meet increased maritime regulations.
The cost of the ships was not released but Carnival did confirm it was a ‘multi-billion dollar’ purchase. Two of the ships will be constructed at Meyer Werft’s Papenburg, Germany shipyard, with the other two being built at Meyer’s Turku, Finland shipyard. The Papenburg ships will host Carnival’s Aida Cruises flag, those ships should be done in 2019-2020. A timeline or flag have yet to be announced for the Turku ships.
Some point to the Aida flag as a sign of the company moving beyond the now tarnished Costa brand
. Costa is currently the parent brand overseeing Aida. Costa used to oversee the Ibero brand but that brand was absorbed by Costa late last year. Aida currently only operates German based cruises so those two ships won’t be heading to Florida’s ports anytime soon.
At least one of the two ships yet to be confirmed will likely include a Florida itinerary. Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, currently the world’s largest cruise ship, called Port Everglades in South Florida its home port before going into dry dock last month for minor repairs. Allure features an 80kW solar array. A short Mediterranean itinerary has been announced for the fall but no longer term plans for Allure have yet to be published. Allure’s sister ship Oasis of the Seas, the world’s second largest cruise ship, also calls Port Everglades home. Two more ships of Allure’s size have been ordered by Royal Caribbean.
Port Canaveral is the midst of multi-year dredging project that will allow for larger ships to enter the port. Costing $38,552,320, that dredging project is the most expensive project
currently under construction at the rapidly expanding port. Once that project is finished late this year new larger ships should announce Port Canaveral itineraries. On the west coast the Port of Tampa is left out the scramble to attract the larger ships, many of which can’t fit under the Skyway Bridge.