PHOTO: AIDA Cruises’ AIDAnova keel laying at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. (photo courtesy of AIDA Cruises)

With the recent start of construction on AIDA Cruises’ new AIDAnova, Carnival Corporation has begun work on the first of seven ships that will be completely powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“One of the main tasks AIDA Cruises sets for itself is to make cruises sustainable,” said AIDA President Felix Eichhorn, in a press release. “With AIDAnova and its sister ship, we are sticking to this course with our pioneering work. Thanks to our trailblazing ‘green cruising’ design, the use of only LNG in the cruise industry will become a reality in 2018.”

The AIDAnova’s keel was laid at the Meyer Werft shipyard on September 6, 2017. Present for the lowering of the first of 90 blocks onto a ceremonial lucky coin were Eichhorn and Tim and Bernard Meyer, CEOs of Meyer Werft.

“We thank Carnival Corporation and AIDA Cruises very much for their trust and their pioneering decision to implement LNG technology on board,” said Bernard Meyer in the release. “The corresponding infrastructure is now being developed at numerous ports. Carnival has made a decision benefiting the environment that is highly important for the cruise industry.”

READ MORE: AIDA Cruises and MSC Cruises Continue to Pursue LNG Future

Eichhorn and Meyer with Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation; Michael Thamm, CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia; David Dingle, Chairman Carnival UK (P&O Cruises UK) and Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises, signaled “full steam ahead” for the commercial use of low-emission LNG in cruise travel at the event.

In short, LNG almost entirely eliminates particulate matter and sulfur dioxide emissions and also decreases nitric oxide and CO2 emissions.

READ MORE: Analyzing AIDA Cruises’ New AIDAprima Bow Design

AIDA Cruises’ AIDAprima and AIDAperla can already be energized by LNG in port with their dual-fuel engines, but AIDAnova will be the first international cruise ship to be able to run on the low-emission fuel source in port and at sea. Its four dual-fuel engines make it possible.

AIDAnova will lead the seven LNG cruise ships being built for the Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Carnival UK and AIDA Cruises brands—all by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany and Turku, Finland.

The new ship will set sail in fall 2018 with an inaugural season around the Canary islands beginning in December. Its 180,000-ton and 2,600-stateroom sister-ship will follow in spring 2021.

This post first appeared on TravelPulse.

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