Carnival Corporation has announced a new partnership with Corvus Energy to pilot new, sustainable cruise travel technology. The agreement will see Corvus supply marine batteries to ships on Carnival Corp.’s AIDA Cruises brand, with the goal of allowing for the practical use of electrical energy from battery storage systems onboard large cruise ships for the first time.
The first AIDA ship will receive the batteries in 2020. The program will test the system's use of stored battery power for emission-free ship operation for an extended period as well as to meet onboard energy needs. Following the pilot electrification program aboard an AIDA vessel, the effort will expand to Costa Cruises.
In a written statement Costa Group and Carnival Asia CEO Michael Thamm said that the partnership’s goal is to reach emission-neutral ship operation.
The program is the latest effort to lower emissions from cruise ships. In December 2018, AIDA introduced the first cruise ship capable of being powered in port and at sea by liquefied natural gas, which Carnival Corp. says produces less carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides, as well as 95 to 100 percent less particulate matter and virtually zero sulfur dioxide. Carnival Corp. has a total of 10 next-generation cruise ships that incorporate sustainable technologies, including the Costa Smeralda, which will be the second LNG-powered ship for the company when it launches in October.
Carnival Corp. says that it is also installing Advanced Air Quality Systems to clean exhaust gas; as of July 2019, these systems have been installed on 77 of the more than 100 ships in the company’s fleet. Additionally, since 2000, every ship built for AIDA Cruises has been built for “cold ironing,” or the ability to connect directly into the land-based electrical grid while in port where the infrastructure is available, meaning that emissions are managed and regulated under the emission control requirements at the power plant supplying the port. By the end of 2020, 12 of AIDA's 14 ships will be able to use shore power where available, Carnival Corp. said.
Looking ahead, AIDA is exploring the use of CO2-free production of liquefied gas from renewable sources through its "Power to Gas" project. The brand also plans to test its first onboard fuel cell in 2021, in cooperation with the Meyer Werft shipyard and other partners. By the end of 2023, 94 percent of all AIDA guests will travel on ships that can be fully powered by low-emission LNG or shore power where possible, Carnival Corp. said.