MHI delivers new-generation cruise ship

The AIDAprima - a new-generation, LNG-powered cruise ship built by MHI The AIDAprima - a new-generation, LNG-powered cruise ship built by MHI

Japanese engineering company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., has completed delivery of the AIDAprima, the first of two LNG-powered cruise ships being built for AIDA Cruises at MHI’s Nagasaki Shipyard and Machinery Works.

The new cruise ship is the world’s first to be equipped with Mitsubishi’s proprietary technology to enhance fuel efficiency. The Air Lubrication System uses air blown out from the vessel to cover the hull like an air carpet, thus reducing friction. It is said to offer a significant reduction in energy usage and CO2 emissions.

Other energy-efficient technologies include an LNG fuel supply system, the latest gas emissions treatment system and a new air-conditioning system that uses waste heat to reduce energy consumption.

The ship uses a pod propulsion system, whereby the propellers are turned by cocoon-shaped attachments – the pods – that have built in electric motors. This arrangement is said to offer reduced fuel consumption, improved steering performance and low noise and vibration.

Shunichi Miyanaga, MHI president and chief executive, said: “We are proud to deliver AIDAprima, the first of a new generation of energy-efficient cruise ships superbly equipped to provide a fantastic cruising experience.”

“Construction was challenging but ultimately we built a cruise ship of the very highest quality, offering superior comfort and entertainment features for passengers. It provided us with many key learnings to enable a smoother construction process for future vessels, starting with AIDAprima’s sister ship,” he added.

The 300m vessel has 18 decks and a gross tonnage of 125,000 tonnes. Among its indoor facilities are a 3-storey multi-purpose theatre, 12 restaurants, 18 bars, shops, a 3,100m2 ‘Body & Soul’ area, disco, casino and micro-brewery. The upper deck has two swimming pools and an ice skating rink. The ship has a total of 1,643 staterooms accommodating up to 3,286 passengers.

A ceremony to mark the delivery was attended by Michael Thamm, chief executive of the Costa Group, Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises and Yoichi Kujirai, senior executive vice president and president/chief executive of Commercial Aviation and Transportation Systems, representing MHI. Shunichi Miyanaga of MHI was also present.

The national flag was changed from Japan’s Hinomaru to the Tricolore of Italy and the ship set sail from the Nagasaki Shipyard heading to Hamburg, Germany. The AIDAprima is scheduled to begin its first regular cruise on 30 April and will be officially christened at the 827th Hamburg Port Anniversary celebrations on 7 May.

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