Rendering of Costa LNG ship

Thirteen of 73 cruise ships on order to be delivered between 2017 and 2026 will be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), and the trend toward LNG-powered cruise ships is moving forward as more operators commit to the alternative fuel.

Carnival Corporation is leading the way, and will be the first to run LNG in service when AIDA and Costa each take delivery of a 5,200-passenger LNG-powered ship in 2019.

In 2020, two more Carnival brands will get LNG power with newbuilds for the P&O and Carnival brands, followed by two more ships in 2021, for Costa and AIDA, respectively. In 2022, another Carnival Cruise Line LNG ship will follow. The seven Carnival Corp. LNG newbuilds on order will either be built at Meyer Werft in Germany or Meyer Turku in Finland.

Separately, sources familiar with the company’s plans have told Cruise Industry News that multiple homeports in North America are looking to ready LNG bunkering infrastructure.

At STX France, MSC Cruises has four 200,000-ton LNG-fueled ships on order, with deliveries expected in 2022, 2024, 2025 and 2026.

Royal Caribbean Cruises will also move to the fuel, recently placing an order with Meyer Turku for two LNG and fuel cell powered vessels to be built on a prototype platform, with deliveries in 2022 and 2024.