Port Canaveral becomes America’s first LNG cruise port

   February 26, 2021 ,   Cruise Industry

A huge barge designed to fuel cruise ships with LNG (liquefied natural gas) made its debut at Port Canaveral (Orlando City, Florida), which will become the first North American seaport to have an LNG-powered cruise ship based there. That's when CCL-Carnival Cruise Line gets the go-ahead to resume sailing, and homeports its first LNG-powered ship Mardi Gras at Port Canaveral.

Mardi Gras was supposed to begin sailings from the port last fall but the pandemic put ship cruises on hold.

CCL and all other major cruise shipping companies are working to meet the extensive provisions of the USA's CDC agency conditional sail order that would allow them to resume operation with passengers. Carnival on Wednesday revealed that won't happen for its ships until at least June.

However, the barge operator and officials of the port were eager to show off the US$80 million-plus barge and tug setup that will enable Carnival Mardi Gras to be fueled with LNG while docked at the new Cruise Terminal 3. The terminal complex (USD 155 million) was completed in 2020 but has not been used by passengers.

The barge goes by the name Q-LNG4000 and is being nicknamed "4K". It can hold 1 million gallons of LNG, enough fuel to power 2 cruise liners homeported in Port Canaveral for 7-day itineraries.

Port Canaveral (Orlando, Florida) cruise port

Fueling Carnival Mardi Gras ship will take ~6-8 hours, and can be done dockside, while passengers board/debark the vessel.

The barge is 324 ft (99 m) long, its attached tugboat is 128 ft (39 m) long. The ship was built at VT Halter Marine Inc. shipyards in Pascagoula, Mississippi.