Carnival Becomes First to Plug Into Shore Power at Cruise Capital of the World

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PortMiami celebrated a significant environmental milestone as it is launched its new shore power facility, with Carnival Corporation’s Carnival Conquest being the first cruise ship to utilize this technology.

The initiative is part of a collaboration between Miami-Dade County, Florida Power & Light Company, and several cruise lines, making PortMiami the first major U.S. eastern seaboard cruise port to offer shore power at five of its cruise berths.

Carnival Conquest Connecting to PortMiami Shore Power
Carnival Conquest Connecting to PortMiami Shore Power (Photo Credit: Miami-Dade County)

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, expressed pride in Carnival being the first to plug into the new technology, saying, “This is an important milestone for our hometown and we’re proud to support Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and all county and port officials for their amazing partnership in bringing shore power to PortMiami.”

The introduction of shore power allows docked ships to plug into the local electricity grid rather than running diesel engines, cutting down on greenhouse emissions while docked. The program has been implemented at Cruise Terminals AA, A, B, F, and V, home to MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, and Virgin Voyages, respectively.

Carnival Conquest, which homeports in Miami, returned from a 3-night roundtrip cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, to connect to shore power ahead of its next departure, a 4-night Bahamian cruise to Princess Cays and Nassau.

PortMiami’s Shore Power Initiative

By utilizing shore power at PortMiami, which welcomed nearly 7.3 million cruise passengers in 2023, the port will reduce emissions by up to 98%. It is estimated that the emission reductions from one terminal are equivalent to removing 7,500 cars from the road. With five terminals at PortMiami with shore power, that equates to 37,500 cars.

Read Also: PortMiami’s Economic Impact Increases Significantly

The Shore Power Program at the port was a significant investment with an estimated cost of $125 million divided across the equipped terminals. The funding was supported through grants totalling $21.7 million, including contributions from the Florida Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Despite the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reporting that 30% of global cruise ships, which represent 40% of capacity, have shore power technology, it also revealed that fewer than 20 ports globally are equipped to provide the service to cruise ships.

Recently, the Port of Seattle announced it will mandate 100% of cruise lines homeported will be required to utilize shore power by 2027. Carnival Corporation currently homeports eight ships in Seattle.

PortMiami Cruise Ships
PortMiami Cruise Ships (Photo Credit: PortMiami)

Currently, 67% of Carnival Corporation’s fleet, which includes 27 Carnival Cruise Line ships, 17 Princess Cruises ships, four Cunard Line ships, 11 Holland America Line ships, seven Seabourn Cruises ships, and 11 AIDA Cruises ships, is capable of using shore power. 

Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation, highlighted the company’s longstanding commitment to reducing its environmental impact, saying, “Using shoreside electricity to power our ships in port is an integral part of our global strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and minimize our environmental footprint.”

Shore power technology supports Carnival Corporation’s decarbonization efforts and aligns with its broader strategy to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050. The company has reduced its GHG emissions by over 10% since 2011, despite a 30% increase in capacity.

By the end of 2024, three additional ships in Carnival’s fleet will be outfitted with shore power capabilities. A partnership with Swiss technology provider ABB Group is set to add 30 more shore power connections to the fleet in coming years.

Miami-Dade County is also investing heavily in renewable energy and energy efficiency in its efforts to become a more sustainable global city.

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