The steel cutting of the first of 2 new-concept LNG-powered ships for TUI Cruises took place on Wednesday (June 22) in the presence of Wybcke Meier (TUI's CEO) and Luigi Matarazzo (General Manager of Fincantieri's Merchant Ship Division at Centro Servizi Navali company (specialized in logistics & production of sheet metal for the Fincantieri's shipyards in Adriatic Italy).
These 161,000 GT-ton vessels will set up the backbone of TUI's fleet. The order is based on a prototype project created by Fincantieri which enhances the features of sustainability of TUI, a company with one of the most environmentally friendly fleets in the world.
Energy efficiency lies at the heart of the new project, with the 2-fold objective of reducing fuel consumption/minimizing environmental impact, in compliance with the latest industry regulations. The cruise ships will be able to use the LNG. Fincantieri is studying the possibility to make them operate with low-emission biofuels - a major step toward climate-neutral cruising.
In addition, they'll be equipped with a shore-power technology and improved catalytic converters (scrubbers compliant with IMO's Euro 6 standard). This ensures almost emission-free operation while in port (~40% of operating time). And finally, the vessels will be equipped with a more efficient/innovative waste treatment system shredding organic waste by means of thermal treatment.
TUI Cruises is a joint venture between TUI Group (world’s largest tourism holding) and RCG-Royal Caribbean Group (world's second-largest cruise shipowner - after Carnival Corporation). TUI was established in April 2008 and is headquartered in Hamburg (Germany). It has been offering voyages for the German-speaking market since May 2009.