Norwegian Cruise Line will slow the release of its last four Prima
class ships as the brand builds them bigger and equips the last two to
use green methanol as an alternative fuel, executives said during
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' recent Q4 earnings call.
The third and fourth Prima ships will have a 10% increase in gross
tonnage compared to the first ship in the class, making them around
157,000 gross tons. Those Prima ships are expected to be delivered in
2025 and 2026, respectively.
The fifth and sixth Prima-class ships will be built with
approximately a 20% increase in gross tonnage over the Norwegian Prima
(142,500 gross tons), which entered service last August. This move could
make them the largest ships in the NCL fleet at about 171,000 gross
tons, which will also accommodate equipment to make them
"methanol-ready" with the dual capacity to run on diesel and methanol.
The ships are scheduled to be released in 2027 and 2028, respectively.
addition to having the ship larger to house the methanol tanks, we're
able to get more scale on those as well, more passenger count," said
Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Harry Sommer.
Additional modifications will be needed to enable the use of both
methanol and diesel, but the action is an exciting step toward the goal
of reaching net zero carbon emissions, said Norwegian Cruise Line
Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio. The investment sets up NCL to use methanol
when the fuel is more widely available during the life of the ship.
"Going green is not free. There is a cost to it, but we think this is a good cost," said Mark Kempa, the cruise company's CFO.
NCLH hinted in a Q3 earnings call that it might modify newbuilds to
make them more environmentally sustainable after announcing supply chain
issues had pushed back the expected release of the rest of the Prima
Cruise lines' fuel strategies vary
Few large lines have publicly committed to constructing their
newbuilds to use methanol, which is not yet widely available. Viking
plans to use hydrogen fuel cells on two of its oceangoing ships due out
in 2026 and 2027 and Explora Journeys is planning to power two of its
ships with liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen, with those ships
due out in 2027 and 2028.
Many cruise lines are building their ships to use LNG, which emits
less carbon than diesel but is considered a stepping stone to more
environmentally friendly fuels. In the past year, several cruise
companies have explored the use of biofuels that could be used in diesel
engines. Costa has begun working with a methanol producer to use
methanol as a marine fuel.
Source: Travel Weekly