Carnival Cruise Lines becomes the first cruise operator to install the Azipod propulsion concept which has been ordered for the seventh and eighth of the 70,400-ton, 2,040-passenger Fantasy class ships under construction at Kvaerner Masa-Yards.

Azipod is a podded electric propulsion unit, azimuthing through 360°. It incorporates an electric AC motor, located inside the propeller pod, which directly drives a fixed-pitch propeller.

Each ship will receive two 14MW Azipod units which will compensate for the previous vessels' shaft lines, internal electric propulsion motors, rudders and rudder machinery, and in addition, three 1.5 MW transversal thrusters.

The Azipod system provides for weight and space savings aboard and is said to improve fuel efficiency as well. And, thanks to the turning Azipods, the maneuvering characteristics are said to be excellent at all ship speeds.

The Azipod system was developed jointly by Kvaerner Masa and ABB Industry.