CELEBRITY BUILDS TO GAIN COMPETITIVE EDGE
Signalling a further advance in cruiseship efficiency, and distinguished by design elements that depart from the norm, the Celebrity Edge cut her teeth on a winter season deployment in December out of Florida following completion by Chantiers de l’Atlantique and subsequent transatlantic positioning, writes David Tinsley.
The 130,800gt addition to the fleet of Celebrity Cruises, a premium brand subsidiary of Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises, leads a class of four newbuilds contracted with the French yard. The product of more than four years’ planning and 23 months of construction at Saint-Nazaire, Celebrity Edge provides for 2,918 passengers, served by a crew of 1,377.
As befits its designation, the new generation is intended to give the operator an edge in an increasingly competitive and discerning market. The project also expresses the unerring drive by the West European shipbuilding industry for product enhancement and innovation in its core sphere of commercial vessel construction, to meet the rising expectations of clients and legislators and to counter future challenges from yards in China and potentially elsewhere.
Featuring what is described as an ‘outward facing’ or ‘endoskeleton’ design, maximising light and cabins with panoramic ocean views, the vessel hosts a raft of architectural innovations that include a cantilevered, elevating platform on the outer hull. Known as the Magic Carpet, this multi-functional amenity serves as a disembarkation point, marina, dance venue, or restaurant, depending on time of day and level at which it is positioned.
Celebrity Edge introduces a cabin concept devised by Chantiers de l’Atlantique and named the Edge Stateroom and Infinite Veranda, whereby the entire living space integrates with the terrace at the touch of a button.
Employing a diesel-electric power and propulsion installation, the vessel has five main generators driven by three different models of Wartsila medium-speed engine, feeding electrical energy to each integral, 16MW motor in the pair of Azipod azimuthing propulsors, and supplying all other shipboard consumers. The prime movers comprise two 12-cylinder vee-type 46F diesels and two eight-cylinder in-line versions, plus a 12-cylinder V32E engine.
The nature of the power generation arrangements offers flexibility in matching machinery usage to actual energy requirements at any point in the vessel’s operating profile, while meeting a consistently high hotel load, and ensuring redundancy in propulsion and other essential systems. The diesel-electric mode with multiple prime movers thereby yields increased efficiency, and the capability to run engines at a constant speed offers benefits in terms of fuel consumption and maintenance needs over the long-term.
Energy efficiency gains also result from the specific hull form developed by the French shipbuilder to reduce resistance in waves without compromising calm water performance. This has been achieved using a parabolic bow that is near-vertical, rather than raked, with an encapsulated bulb.
The requisite degree of environmental protection under ever-more pressing regulatory edicts, while burning heavy fuel oil(HFO) instead of more expensive ultra low-sulphur or distillate fuel, is afforded by the fitting of scrubbers and selective catalytic reduction(SCR) systems. In place of incinerators, which are a source of pollutant emissions, a solution involving hydrothermal oxidation is employed for waste treatment.
During the project planning stage, Chantiers de l’Atlantique used an analytical model to help determine and validate the most effective energy-saving features and systems. The sum total of the design and engineering endeavours is an indicated 20% reduction in fuel per passenger per day compared to the Celebrity’s preceding, Solstice-class vessels.
Following the inaugural season of seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises out of Port Everglades, Celebrity Edge will reposition to Europe during the spring to commence a programme of seven- to 11-night cruises from Southampton, Barcelona, and Civitavecchia(for Rome). Second-of-class Celebrity Apex is due for delivery in 2020, with the third and fourth ships expected to debut in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
PRINCIPAL PARTICULARS—Celebrity Edge
Number of decks
Main generator engines
2 x 12V46F; 2 x 8L46F; 1 x 12V32E
Electric propulsion motors
2 x 16MW
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