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Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen introduced to the international media

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Kalle Id reporting from Ulsteinvik, Norway

Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise line, and the Kleven shipyard today showcased the upcoming hybrid diesel-electric expedition ship MS Roald Amundsen to the international media in Ulsteinvik, Norway.

The Roald Amundsen is shaping up to be the most environmentally friendly expedition cruise ship thanks to its diesel engines complemented with batteries. The engine, battery and propulsion package, provided by Rolls-Royce, will help decrease the ship’s total emissions by circa 20% compared to vessel of a more conventional design. The purely technical solutions are complemented by Hurtigruten’s other sustainability efforts, such as an already-implemented ban on single-use plastics and doing away with the use of heavy fuel oil. With the new ship and the project to convert several existing vessels on the Norwegian coastal route to run on a combination of liquidized natural gas, biogas and battery power, the company hope to challenge the entire industry to step up their sustainability efforts.

At the same time, the Roald Amundsen will offer an unprecedented passenger experience with the new science center, a large edutainment venue onboard which will help passengers connect to the destination in a deeper, more immersive way already when they are en-route. In addition to the science center, the ship will offer lecture spaces within the Explorer Lounge & Bar on the ship’s top deck, and it will even be possible to arrange lectures in the ship’s multi-deck atrium, which will have the tallest led-screen afloat that can also be used for presentations. For the first time in Hurtigruten’s history, passengers will have three restaurants to choose from, while all passenger cabins with have either a window or a private balcony.

The Roald Amundsen will be delivered during Q1 of 2019 and will take passengers to Norway, Greenland, the Antarctica and – for the first time in Hurtigruten’s history – Alaska, where the company promise to ”do something completely different” from the mass-market ships that currently dominate the Alaskan market. The company currently have a firm contract for one sister ship, the MS Fridtjof Nansen, and a letter of intent for a third vessel. According to the Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam, the company hopes from contract further newbuildings from the Kleven shipyard in the future to maintain and further develop the yard’s competence.

AIDA Cruises welcomes LNG-powered AIDAnova to fleet

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest leisure travel company, welcomed AIDA Cruises’ new AIDAnova into its fleet today at a celebration in Bremerhaven, Germany, as the world’s first cruise vessel to be powered at sea and in port by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. AIDAnova becomes Carnival Corporation’s fourth new ship of 2018.

“AIDAnova is a milestone for our company and the entire cruise industry,” said Michael Thamm, group CEO of Carnival Corporation’s Costa Group – which includes AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises – and Carnival Asia. “With Carnival Corporation pioneering LNG technology, we start a new era of environmentally friendly cruising. It's important now that the respective infrastructure will be further developed as more and more cruise lines are following our example.”

The largest cruise ship ever built at a German shipyard, AIDAnova also marks an exciting new generation of ships for AIDA Cruises, Germany’s leading cruise line. The new vessel combines innovative design, state-of-the-art technology and inspiring on-board features to enhance the vacation experience – including a domed adventure deck, theater with a 360-degree stage, TV studio, more than 20 different stateroom types and 40 different restaurants and bars, giving guests plenty of options for playing, relaxing and enjoying world-class dining.

AIDAnova set sail today for the Canary Islands to welcome its inaugural guests at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, embarking on December 19 for a 7-night holiday cruise around the Canary Islands and Madeira.

“I am so pleased about this extraordinary ship, which is another milestone on our steady path to providing sustainable cruises,” said Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises, at today’s handover event. “AIDAnova will offer guests entirely new experiences onboard through the further development of the innovative ship designs of AIDAprima and AIDAperla, and many other successful products in the AIDA fleet. With an extraordinary variety of individual vacation options, exciting entertainment and new wellness, fitness and culinary offerings, we are providing new and exciting reasons for people to enjoy a cruise vacation, one of the vacation industry’s fastest-growing sectors.”

AIDAnova welcomes guests with plenty of exciting features

The 40 onboard restaurants and bars include the new Time Machine restaurant, a new seafood restaurant named Ocean’s, the Teppanyaki Asia Grill, the Rock Box Bar and more. The Beach Club and Four Elements adventure deck boasts three water slides and a climbing garden under the dome of a retractable glass roof. The Mystery Room brings the thrilling escape room experience to the high seas.

In the new Studio X, AIDA Cruises’ first television studio at sea that produces and broadcasts live every day, passengers are invited to watch live cooking shows and game shows. AIDAnova’s Theatrium puts showtime on a 360-degree stage, featuring technical marvels that include 11 LED walls and seven different laser shows.

Reflecting an evolving travel market, AIDAnova also offers 20 different stateroom types, ranging from a two-deck penthouse suite to spacious family and patio cabins to comfortable single options with a balcony.

AIDAnova reflects commitment to environmental leadership

For many years, AIDA Cruises has been a pioneer in the development of alternative modes of energy production on board its ships.

The cruise line began investing in LNG as a propulsion technology more than 10 years ago. With LNG, emissions of particulate matter and sulfur oxides are almost completely eliminated.

In 2021 and 2023, two additional ships from the new AIDA Cruises generation of vessels will join the AIDA fleet, in addition to new LNG-powered ships on order for Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises in the UK, and Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises in the U.S.

In total, following today’s launch of AIDAnova, Carnival Corporation has an additional 10 next-generation “green” cruise ships on order that will be powered by LNG in port and at sea, with expected delivery dates between 2019 and 2025, leading the cruise industry’s use of LNG to power cruise ships.

By making history as the first cruise ship to be powered in port and at sea by LNG, AIDAnova underscores Carnival Corporation’s longtime role as an industry leader in developing innovative solutions for sustainability, including the environmental technology breakthrough of making its Advanced Air Quality Systems (AAQS) highly functional in the small confines of a cruise ship. Its pioneering Advanced Air Quality Systems, generically known as exhaust gas cleaning systems, are installed on 71 of the company’s more than 100 ships.

In addition, over 40 percent of the company’s fleet has “cold ironing” capabilities, enabling ships to use shoreside electric power where available while in port. The company has also implemented broad initiatives to optimize onboard energy usage and innovative hull designs and coatings to reduce fuel consumption by minimizing frictional drag.

Judge rules in CLIA-Juneau lawsuit

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

A U.S. District Court judge in Alaska has ruled in the lawsuit between Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and Juneau over the city's use of head tax revenue. The ruling was generally in favor of the cruise industry. While the judge ruled that such passenger fees are constitutional, he said they may only be used in ways that directly benefit the ships.

CLIA filed the lawsuit against the city in April 2016 over what it said were improper uses of passenger fees that violated the Tonnage Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The flashpoint for the lawsuit was construction of an artificial island to serve as the site of a new whale statue.

In his ruling, the judge laid out a rationale for what would be considered proper use of head tax revenues: "Passenger benefits are not relevant. The proper question as to each category of expenditure by defendants is: Does the expenditure provide a service to a vessel? If the answer is yes, the expenditure is constitutional. If the answer is no, the expenditure is unconstitutional under the Tonnage Clause," the judge wrote.