Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL;NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest leisure travel company, today announced that AIDAnova from its popular German brand AIDA Cruises is the first-ever cruise ship to be awarded the prestigious Blue Angel certification for excellence in environmentally friendly ship design.
The newest ship in AIDA’s fleet, AIDAnova features several innovative approaches to “green cruising,” including being the first cruise ship capable of being powered in port or at sea by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel.
Blue Angel is a certification program of Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. Overseen by an independent jury from various industries, the Blue Angel ecolabel was designed and launched in 1978 to help consumers and vendors choose businesses that offer environmentally friendly goods and services. While approximately 1,500 companies have received The Blue Angel, AIDAnova from Carnival Corporation’s AIDA Cruises is the first cruise ship to earn the prestigious designation.
“We are honored to receive this recognition of our longstanding commitment to protecting the marine environment and reducing emissions,” said AIDA President Felix Eichhorn at the recent award ceremony in Rostock, Germany. “Together with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg we built AIDAnova and presented its various technical innovations, including the capability of being powered by LNG. By 2023, we will be putting two more of these innovative cruise ships into service.”
In total, following AIDAnova’s launch at the end of 2018, Carnival Corporation has an additional 10 next-generation “green” cruise ships on order, with expected delivery dates between 2019 and 2025 for five of its global brands – AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Princess Cruises.
Dr. Ralf-Rainer Braun, chairman of the Jury Umweltzeichen responsible for selecting Blue Angel recipients, said of the recognition: “This ecolabel is something special. It covers the many requirements that must be fulfilled when a new ship is built. In their sum, they stand for a significant contribution to environmental protection. It is our hope that this award for AIDA Cruises serves as a positive message for commitment to environmental protection throughout the maritime industries.”
The introduction of LNG to power cruise ships is a groundbreaking innovation 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.
The green cruising ships are an integral part of the strategic plan for carbon footprint reduction, defined by Carnival Corporation’s 2020 sustainability goals and fully implemented by AIDA Cruises and the company’s eight additional brands. Carnival Corporation achieved its 25% carbon reduction goal three years ahead of schedule in 2017 and made additional progress on that goal with a 27.6% reduction in emissions from operations in 2018.
Carnival Corporation and its nine global cruise line brands are committed to developing innovative solutions that support sustainable operations and a healthy environment. In addition to leading the cruise industry’s use of LNG to power cruise ships, the company is also pioneering the use of Advanced Air Quality Systems (AAQS) on board its ships. As of July 2019, Advanced Air Quality Systems have been installed on 77 of the more than 100 ships in the Carnival Corporation fleet. The systems remove almost all of sulfur oxide emissions, 75% of all particulate matter and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.
Since 2000, every ship built for AIDA Cruises, including AIDAnova, has “cold ironing” or shore power capabilities – being able to connect directly into the land-based electrical grid while in port where the infrastructure is available. With “cold ironing,” the air emissions are managed and regulated under the emission control requirements at the power plant supplying the port.
AIDA Cruises is also exploring the use of fuel cells, batteries and liquefied gas from renewable sources in cruising. The company plans to test the first fuel cell on board an AIDA ship as early as 2021. By 2023, 94% of all AIDA guests will travel on ships fully operated with low-emission LNG or, where possible, shore power while in port.
The Blue Angel designation is the most recent in a series of awards and recognitions highlighting AIDA’s commitment to the environment and sustainability. The popular brand also received “Germany’s Most Trustworthy Cruise Company” in the 2019 Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Survey and 2019 MedCruise awards for “greatest sustainability program” and “greatest investment and commitment to the environment and sustainability.”