Meyer Werft delivers world’s first LNG-propelled cruise ship, AIDAnova

PHOTO: AIDA Cruises Meyer Werft's Tim Meyer hands the delivery papers to Capt. Boris Becker. Looking on, from left, are AIDA's Felix Eicchorn, Costa Group's Michael Thamm and Meyer Werft's Bernard Meyer

Following two delays, AIDAnova—world’s first LNG-propelled cruise ship—was delivered to AIDA Cruises by Meyer Werft Wednesday morning.

Deadheading to Tenerife

Prior to the handover, AIDAnova had moved from Eemshaven in the Netherlands to Bremerhaven, Germany, where she docked at the Columbus Cruise Centre. The ship was due to sail from Bremerhaven for southern Europe without passengers later on Wednesday and call at Lisbon on Sunday before continuing her repositioning voyage to the Canary Islands.

The first passengers are scheduled to embark Dc. 19 at Tenerife, where Carnival Corp. & plc is operating the new LNG-ready cruise terminal.

During the rest of the winter, AIDAnova is going to sail seven-day itineraries between Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura as well as Madeira. AIDAnova will cruise the Mediterranean in the summer.

Cruising milestone

The delivery marks a milestone not only for Meyer Werft and AIDA Cruises, but for the cruise industry as a whole.

On Wednesday mornining Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia, joined Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises, Bernard Meyer and Tim Meyer of Meyer Werft and AIDAnova Capt. Boris Becker for the handover ceremony on board.

‘I am so pleased about this extraordinary ship, which is another milestone on our steady path to providing sustainable cruises,’ Eichhorn said. Further LNG-fueled ships are due to join AIDA’s fleet in 2021 and 2023.

Technical challenges and fire

Meyer Werft went to great efforts in recent weeks to hand over AIDAnova before Christmas. The delivery, originally set for mid-November, was pushed back twice. An obvious reason was the complex propulsion plant, which constitutes a real industry first and cannot be compared with ferry LNG propulsion plants that have been in the market for some time.

Additionally, a fire broke out on board while the ship was being outfitted in Eemshaven. This incident is still under investigation, and arson cannot be ruled out.

Posted 12 December 2018

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Frederik Erdmann

Author Bio ▼

German Correspondent Frederik Erdmann is Seatrade's German cruise correspondent since 2002. Following secondary school graduation he joined the port agency network, Sartori & Berger, on a vocational training program. After subsequent studies of Business Administration, Frederik Erdmann held various positions at Sartori & Berger until 2010. After a period of working with the Flensburg Chamber of Commerce, he was appointed Designated Person Safety/Security, Environment and Quality of the coastal ferry operator, Wyker Dampfschiffs-Reederei. As a maritime trade press correspondent and visiting lecturer of the Flensburg University of Applied Sciences, Frederik Erdmann concentrates on ferry and cruise ship management, port development as well as safety and security in passenger shipping. He is also a member of the Flensburg Chamber of Commerce's Tourism Committee.

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