Costa and Aida LNG-powered cruise ships switch to Marine Gas Oil

Jan 09, 2023

Carnival Corporation's European-based brands, AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises have switched their low-emission LNG-powered cruise ships to diesel fuel due to high prices of liquefied natural gas, reports Suddeutsche Zeitung. The German brand Aida Cruises have been operating the cruise ships  AIDAnova and the AIDAcosma on marine gas oil MGO, for some weeks now, given that LNG costs had risen sharply as a result of the breakdown of gas flow from Russia to Europe. 

Costa Cruises had also suspended the use of LNG on Costa Toscana and Costa Smeralda. "The ongoing global energy crisis is causing widespread disruptions in access to the overall supply of liquefied natural gas." Costa Cruises said that their cruise ships will be powered on marine gas oil until the LNG energy market stabilizes.

Aida spokesman Hansjörg Kunze said LNG has become three to five times more expensive.  “The price increase has been significant, not to say explosive.  A delivery at reasonable operating costs is not possible. The engines of both ships are built for dual-fuel operation and can use both MGO and LNG. LNG not only reduces emissions but is also the of technology in the future to possible operation with emission-free gases,” said Kunze.

With the delivery of Aidanova In 2018, AIDA Cruises made history with the introduction of the world's first cruise ship capable of being powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. The introduction of LNG-powered cruise ships was a major achievement in green cruising that supports environmental goals with the virtual total elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95% to 100% reduction). 

With the temporary halt of the environmentally friendly LNG, the two Carnival Corporation-owned brands are taking a step back in their green cruising strategy. However, at this moment it seems that cutting costs is the number one priority across the entire cruise industry.