Princess Cruises orders two low-emission ships

Princess Cruises is joining UK sister company P&O Cruises in agreeing to build two large new generation ships.

The new 4,300-passenger vessels will be Princess Cruises’ first to be dual-fuel powered – primarily by Liquefied Natural Gas to cut air emissions and marine gas oil.

The 175,000 gross ton new builds are due to be delivered in late 2023 and spring 2025.

The ships will be based on a next-generation platform “designed to further enhance an already world-class holiday experience”.

They will be the largest by capacity in the US line’s fleet and be built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.

The agreement for Princess Cruises’ next-generation ships represents parent company Carnival Corporation’s 10th and 11th LNG-powered vessels.

Specification details for the ship design, along with anticipated features and amenities of this new platform design for Princess Cruises, will be shared in the future, according to the company.

The line’s president, Jan Swartz, said: “This revolutionary platform for next-generation, LNG-powered cruise ships will introduce innovative design and leisure experiences driven by the future holiday and lifestyle trends of our guests – further evolving the already best-in-class Princess Cruises experience we deliver today.

“We look forward to collaborating with Fincantieri to bring our vision for this next-generation premium cruise ship into service.”

Fincantieri chief executive Giuseppe Bono added: “We are proud to extend our long-established partnership with Princess Cruises, a brand we have been tied to since our return to the cruise shipbuilding industry in 1990.

“After so many years, we are ready to enter, together, a new era of this industry, increasingly aimed at reducing even more of our environmental impact.

“We proudly do this with an all-time record project, both in terms of size and technology. We believe that there are no more significant milestones than these to reaffirm our market-leading position.

“This builds upon the solid partnership between our country and Carnival Corporation – the largest foreign investor in Italy – while at the same time building upon our technological strength and increasing employment.”

Princess Cruises has three new Royal-class ships on order with Fincantieri, including its next new build, Sky Princess, which is due for delivery in October 2019. The two other Royal-class ships are planned to enter service in 2020 and 2022.

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New Technology: Carnival LNG Bunkering

Cardissa (Photo credit: Kees Helder, Helderline)

With the AIDAnova slated to start regular service in the Canary Islands in December, Carnival Corporation has been working on the LNG bunkering processes and procedures not only for the new AIDA ship but also for the Costa and Carnival ships that will follow.

Carnival has contracted Shell to supply AIDA and Costa with LNG in Northern and Southern Europe and Carnival in Southern Florida. A bunkering solution for P&O’s new ships, which will also be LNG-fueled, was in the discussion stage, according to Tom Strang, senior vice president of maritime affairs.

“Because of the volume we are going to consume, LNG will be supplied by a bunker vessel,” he continued. “Shell already has a bunker vessel, the Cardissa based out of Rotterdam, and has another vessel under contract that is currently being adapted to bunkering.

“There are only six bunkering vessels for LNG in the world of which two will be dedicated to our trade going forward.”

A barge is under construction for bunkering in South Florida that will be ready by the first quarter of 2021.

The LNG capacity of the new cruise ships will be 3,620 cubic meters in three tanks, Strang said. “The typical maximum bunkering load we can take will be just over 3,000 cubic meters which should take from six to 10 hours, a little bit longer than traditional bunkering, but not significantly so.”

The ships will be dual fuel, meaning that will also carry MGO onboard as a pilot fuel and also to satisfy the safe return to port requirements.

In order to bunker, Shell needs approval permits in every port, Strang explained. He described it as a complex process where Shell has to run risk and hazard assessments together with the ports and authorities, unlike bunkering HFO or MGO that do not require a similar approval process.

“As part of the process we have gone through with Shell we have developed a very specific bunkering protocol,” Strang said.

The cruise line’s class society must also approve the procedures as must the class society for the bunkering vessel along with the port and local authorities before permits are granted.

Strang added: “If we had waited until the infrastructure was there before placing orders we would only now be thinking about possible orders. We took the view that this is the best fuel available for environmental performance and a number of other reasons, and then we entered into partnerships to build the infrastructure when and where we need it.”

Carnival wins a challenge against Bermuda same-sex marriage ban

Image result for same sex marriage caribbean

A ban imposed against same-sex marriages on cruise ships registered in Bermuda is being lifted after a successful Carnival Corporation-backed legal challenge on the island

The Supreme Court in the British Overseas Territory yesterday upheld a constitutional challenge against the Domestic Partnership Act, allowing gay couples to once again be able to marry.

Chief justice Ian Kawaley, delivering his judgment, said the sections of the Act which revoked the right to same-sex marriage were invalid because they were inconsistent with provisions in the Constitution which give the right to freedom of conscience and creed.

It came after a court battle fought by gay Bermudians Rod Ferguson and Maryellen Jackson and the gay rights charity OutBermuda, with part funding by Carnival.

The ban, which came into force in February, meant P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises ships registered in Bermuda were prevented from conducting same-sex marriages on board.

Carnival had faced calls for a boycott due to some of its ships being registered in Bermuda.

Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein said: “We are delighted that the supreme court of Bermuda has decided that same-sex marriage is legal in Bermuda and we congratulate OutBermuda on its hard-won challenge.

“As a result of the judgment, it will also now be legal for same-sex couples to marry onboard cruise ships registered in the country.

“As a company committed to equality, inclusion and diversity, we believe everyone deserves equal dignity and respect, and we are proud to have provided our support to OutBermuda’s efforts to champion marriage equality.

“We will now be working closely with the Bermudan authorities to understand when we will be able to resume marrying same-sex couples on board.”

The Domestic Partnership Act was passed by Bermuda’s parliament in December, reversing a supreme court ruling from May last year, which enabled gay couples to marry on the island.

The new legislation came into force on Friday, revoking the right of gay couples to marry and offering them – and heterosexual couples – the option of a legally-recognised civil union.

But chief justice Kawaley’s ruling will mean gay couples can wed once more and domestic partnerships will also be available.

The DPA meant Bermuda was the only country in the world to have allowed gay marriage and then revoked that right.

Ferguson then launched a crowdsourced civil case on the grounds that his constitutional rights had been breached.

Jackson and OutBermuda, with partial funding from Carnival Corporation, later filed a separate lawsuit and asked for it to be joined with Ferguson’s case.

However, the Bermuda government has an automatic right to appeal the ruling and it will not go into effect immediately.

The chief justice agreed to an application by solicitor-general Melvyn Douglas to stay the effect of the judgment for six weeks until it decides whether to appeal, meaning the current ban on same-sex marriage will remain in place, according to Bermuda’s Royal Gazette newspaper.