Video: Float Out of First LNG-Fueled Cruise Ship
The AIDAnova, the world's first LNG-fueled cruise ship, made her debut Tuesday in a float out ceremony at Meyer Werft Papenburg. With the assistance of three tugs, the 5,200-passenger vessel departed Meyer Werft's enclosed dockyard and berthed at a nearby pier. The full evolution took about one and a half hours.
Now that she has departed the dockyard, shipbuilders will add her mast and funnel cladding, and interior fitting-out will continue. Her 1,400-strong crew will also begin their onboard training. Once these steps are complete, she will conduct her first LNG bunkering and commence sea trials, which are scheduled for late September. Her first commercial cruise is expected in November, just after delivery to AIDA.
The AIDAnova is the first cruise ship in the world designed to operate in port and at sea on LNG marine fuel. Carnival has contracts for six more LNG-powered vessels from Meyer Werft for its various brands, including AIDA, Costa, Carnival Cruise Line and P&O.
AIDAnova's float out makes room for the future cruise ship Spectrum of the Seas. The floating megablock portion of the Spectrum will be moved into the covered dockyard just vacated by AIDAnova, and work will continue. The Spectrum is purpose built for the Chinese market, and is designed with two luxury accommodations tiers in addition to general boarding.
Meyer Werft says that thanks to the boom in the global cruise industry, its order book is strong, with 29 vessels slated for delivery over the next few years. The firm has three shipyards - Papenburg and Rostock, Germany, plus a yard in Turku, Finland - and over 6,000 employees, and it says that it is hiring more to keep up with demand.