Norwegian Cruise Line is adapting its future ships for methanol as their primary fuel.
The cruise line said it has agreed to a total of €1.2 billion in additional contract costs to modify a total of four cruise ships being built by Fincantieri as part of Project Leonardo, now known as the Prima class. The first ship of the class, Norwegian Prima (143,535 GT) was introduced in August 2022 and she will be followed by a sister ship Norwegian Viva scheduled to begin cruising in August 2023.
“While additional modifications will be needed in the future to fully enable the use of methanol in addition to traditional marine fuel on these ships, this reinforces the company’s commitment to decarbonization,” writes Norwegian. The company is currently working to secure additional export-credit agency-backed financing to cover the costs before finalizing the design changes.
Norwegian said it has already completed tests on three of its ships using biofuel blends. They tested 30 percent biofuel/70 percent marine gas oil (MGO) aboard the Norwegian Star, Norwegian Sun, and Norwegian Epic during November and December 2022.
The cruise line recently announced that for the first time, three ships – Norwegian Spirit, Norwegian Sun, and Norwegian Sky – will be positioned in the Asia Pacific in 2024 and 2025, tripling NCL’s offering in the region. The highlights include a 17-Day Asia; Maldives, Thailand & Seychelles Extraordinary Journey from Mauritius to Singapore across the Indian Ocean.