German company AIDA Cruises, operator of one of the world’s most environmentally friendly fleets, has taken a step into an even cleaner future with the commissioning of its first newbuild of a new ship generation. AIDA Cruises took delivery of the LNG-fuelled AIDAprima on March 14 from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), completing delivery of the first of two large cruise ships being built for the company at MHI’s Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works.
A ceremony to mark the occasion was attended by Michael Thamm, CEO of the Costa Group, and Felix Eichhorn, President of AIDA Cruises, representing the new owner, and Shunichi Miyanaga, President and CEO, and Yoichi Kujirai, Senior Executive Vice President and President/CEO of Commercial Aviation & Transportation Systems, representing MHI. The parties signed the formal delivery documents, and the national flag at the ship’s stern was changed from Japan’s Hinomaru to the Tricolore of Italy.
Shunichi Miyanaga, President and CEO MHI, commented: “We are proud to deliver AIDAprima, the first of a new generation of energy-efficient cruise ships superbly equipped to provide a fantastic cruising experience for passengers.”
The AIDAprima is scheduled to commence its first regular cruise from Hamburg on April 30, including port stops in Rotterdam (Netherlands), Zeebrugge (Belgium), Le Havre (France) and Southampton (United Kingdom). Its official public presentation in Europe will take place at a christening ceremony to be held on May 7 as part of the 827th Hamburg Port Anniversary celebrations taking from May 5 through 8.
Construction of the second ship will now be streamlined leveraging the knowledge gained from building the AIDAprima.
The AIDAprima has 18 decks, is 300 meters in overall length, and has a gross tonnage of 124,100 GT. It is the world’s first cruise ship equipped with the “Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System” (MALS), MHI’s proprietary technology that enhances fuel efficiency. Other cutting-edge technologies that save energy, increase automation and reduce manpower needs include a pod propulsion system, liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel supply system, the latest gas emissions treatment system, and a new air-conditioning system that saves on energy consumption by using waste heat.
(Source: AIDA Cruises and MHI)