Posts Tagged ‘RCI. Royal Caribbean’

LNG – The Future Fuel For Cruise Ships

September 23, 2017

Costa Smeralda, 184,000gt LNG Ship (Coutesy Costa)

In June 2015, the Carnival Corporation announced that they have finalised a multi-billion dollar contract with shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Fincantieri, to build seven next-generation cruise ships, between 2019 and 2022.

The new ships will be for the Carnival, AIDA, Costa and P&O brands and will all feature a new “green cruising” design.

The ships will be the first in the cruise industry to be powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). They will use LNG in dual-powered hybrid engines to power the ship both in port and on the open sea. LNG will be stored on-board and used to generate 100 percent power at sea. Using LNG to power the ships in port and at sea will eliminate emissions of soot particles and sulphur oxides.

In April 2016, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)  Cruises has announced that it has signed a letter of intent with STX France for the construction of up to four new LNG-powered cruise ships, called the ‘World Class’. These will be more than 200,000 gross tonnes. and will be able to carry 5,400 passengers at double occupancy. 

MSC’s World Class (Courtesy MSC)

The first of the four MSC ‘Wold’ class ships will be delivered in 2022.

In October 2016, Royal Caribbean International announced that its two newest class of ships, ‘Icon’, will be powered by LNG . The vessels will be delivered in 2022 and 2024.

What is LNG?

Using LNG to power ships is not a completely new idea. However to date, LNG use has been restricted to smaller vessels operating rather short runs. This is due to the large size of fuel tanks required and the few bunkering facilities available. However it is a new idea for cruise ships and certainly for a megaship design.

LNG is superior to pipeline gas in quality. This is because LNG is purer, has more methane as well as other energy content, and also because of its chemical structure since it has a stable composition. Its combustion generates no unburned residues, particulates or soot, and releases less greenhouse gas than traditional marine gas oil (MGO). Future maritime emissions regulations, especially in sensitive environments are likely to demand this. Perhaps the most appealing aspect about LNG is that under the right operating conditions it can reduce fuel costs.

In addition, using  LNG can double the maintenance intervals, because the gas is so clean,  ship owners may get  25,000 hours between maintenance intervals, maybe more, opposed to 12,500 hours with standard fuel.

Viking Grace, LNG Ferry

Viking Grace, LNG Ferry

Here is an interesting example: VIKING GRACE is a European passenger ferry (2013, 57,000gt, STX, Finland) powered by LNG. Gas take up more space than fuel-oil. In fact six times more space. Therefore large tanks for the gas are located on deck, of the ferry, to save space in the hull (See image above).

However the renderings of  Carnival’s newbuilds do not appear to have LNG storage tanks on the deck.

(Source unknown)

(Source unknown)

LNG cruise ship ‘concepts’ have been around a long time. The renderings below are a design by Wärtsilä, the marine engine company.

(Image courtesy of Wärtsilä)

(Image courtesy of Wärtsilä)

Interestingly the concept ship uses drive shaft technology, rather than pods. The LNG tans are located internally, below the funnel area.

2-ship-innards

( Wärtsilä)

The engines on-board the new Carnival ships will not exclusively be powered by LNG, but will be ‘dual fuel’ being capable of burring both LNG and liquid fuel, and combinations of both at the same time. burning exclusively LNG could be saved for environmentally sensitive areas. This would reduce the fuel storage space required.

Malcolm

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The World’s Biggest Ship?

September 16, 2017

The ‘World’ class & the ‘Oasis’ class

The title of the ‘World’s biggest cruise ship’ is open for debate.

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class ships (Oasis, Allure, Harmony and Symphony, plus a fourth as yet unnamed vessel) are widely acknowledge to be the biggest, based on gross tonnage (volume) of around 225,000-230,000 gt.

In comparison MSC’s two new ‘World Class’ vessels (2022 and 2024, + 2 more options in 2025 & 2026) will only be a mere 200,000 gross tonnes.

Although the ‘Oasis’ class are about 104 feet longer than the ‘World’ Class, the beam is identical.

However the ‘World’ class will carry up to 6,850 passengers, a record, being 70 passengers more than RCI’s ‘Symphony of the Seas’.

Some press have called MSC’s ‘World Class’ the world’s biggest ship, because of higher passenger capacity. Whatever your viewpoint, the ‘World Class’ will clearly be very big and very busy ships.

I guess half my readers would love to try a ‘World’ class ship and the other half would not touch one with a barge-pole.

The choice is yours.

.

Oasis class review & slide-show: HERE

Independence of the Seas Refit – 2018

July 15, 2017

(Images courtesy of RCI)

RCI have announced that ‘Independence of the Seas’ will undergo a major refurbishment during the ship’s dry dock in April 2018.

The ship, which entered service in 2008, has not had a  major refurbishment since 2013.

Independence of the Seas will receive some high-energy features including a trampoline park, water slides, escape room and laser tag.

More details will be revealed at a later date.

(Royal Caribbean)