AIDA Cruises, based in Rostock Germany and part of the Carnival Group, has celebrated the keel laying of the first cruise ship of the new generation on June 30, 2013. The AIDA ships are being built at the shipyard belonging to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) in Nagasaki (Japan). The ships will be fitted with Caterpillar dual-fuel engines, meaning that they can run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), depending on its availability in port.
“With these ships AIDA will set new industry standards for the future both with regard to their new and innovative product features as well as in terms of protecting the environment,” Michael Ungerer, President of AIDA Cruises, commented. The use of eco-friendly LNG substantially reduces CO2 and particle emissions.
The MaK M 46 DF dual-fuel marine engines are being produced by Caterpillar Marine Power Systems in Kiel and Warnemünde. The M 46 DF has been designed for both electric drive and mechanical propulsion systems and is able to alternate from gas to diesel mode during operation. This will allow the vessel to operate in all geographical areas, regardless of fuel and emission restrictions.
The first DF engine is currently in transit to MHI, to be immediately installed on arrival. “We’re pleased to deliver our first dual fuel marine product to AIDA cruise lines, a longtime collaborator and partner” said Detlef Kirste, Caterpillar Marine Power Systems Senior Product Definition Engineer. “The M 46 DF will provide AIDA with superior performance and operational flexibility without sacrificing power or reliability.”
Able to alternate from gas to diesel mode during operation, the M 46 DF offers the flexibility to operate vessels reliably in all geographical areas, whether the fuel in use is gas, marine diesel oil (MDO) or heavy fuel oil (HFO). In gas mode, the M 46 DF features industry-leading fuel consumption and will comply with IMO III as well as EPA Tier 4 regulations. The engine has been designed to allow retrofitting of current M 43 C engines.
With a bore of 460 millimeters and stroke of 610, the engine was designed for electric drive propulsion systems as well as mechanical propulsion systems. Although designed for unlimited operation on LNG, marine diesel oil and heavy fuel oil, the M 46 DF will reach industry- leading efficiency in gas mode.
In 2011, the Rostock-based cruise company awarded the contract for the construction of two innovative vessels in the next generation of AIDA ships to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd following a worldwide call for tenders. With a GRT of 124,500 tons, the identically designed new ships, which are 300 meters long and have a beam measuring 37.60 meters, each provide space for around 3,300 passengers and will be delivered in March 2015 and March 2016, respectively.
From March 22 to June 16, 2015, the maiden voyage of the first new AIDA ship will take passengers on a unique 86-day voyage from the Japanese port city of Yokohama to Germany.
(Sources: Caterpillar Marine Power Systems Communications and AIDA)