Carnival cruise brands AIDA and Costa switch their LNG-powered ships to diesel fuel

   January 10, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

Carnival Corporation's European-based cruise brands, AIDA and Costa, switched their low-emission LNG-powered ships to diesel fuel because of the high prices of liquefied natural gas.

The German brand AIDA Cruises has been operating the AIDAnova and AIDAcosma ships on MGO (marine gas oil) for some weeks now, given that LNG costs rose sharply as a result of the breakdown of gas flow Russia-Europe. 

Costa Cruises also suspended the use of LNG on Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana and said:

"The ongoing global energy crisis is causing widespread disruptions in access to the overall supply of liquefied natural gas."

According to Costa Cruises, its ships will be powered on MGO until the LNG energy market stabilizes.

Hansjorg Kunze, AIDA's spokesman said LNG had become 3 to 5 times more expensive. The price increase had been significant, not to say explosive, and delivery at reasonable operating costs was 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.” 

With AIDAnova's delivery back in 2018, the company made history with the introduction of the first cruise ship in the world capable of being powered by LNG. The introduction of LNG-powered ships was a major achievement in green cruising and supports environmental goals with the virtual elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions and particulate matter (95%-100% reduction). 

AIDAnova cruise ship

With the halt of the environmentally friendly LNG, AIDA and Costa are taking a step back in the Corporation's green cruising strategy. At this moment it seems that cutting costs is the priority across the entire industry.