Cruise Line Proves Older Ships Can Use Shore Power

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AIDA Cruises is achieving new standards in sustainable cruising by using the growing availability of shore power in Northern Europe. During a recent cruise, AIDAsol, one of the older ships in the AIDA fleet, was connected to shore-side power facilities in four out of five ports: Rostock-Warnemünde, Aarhus (Denmark), Kristiansand (Norway), and Hamburg. 

The achievement marks an important milestone in the cruise line’s ongoing decarbonization efforts. However, more importantly, it also shows that older ships still have a place in the cruise industry and can operate sustainably.

A Major Step Towards Decarbonization

During a cruise from April 16 to April 21, 2023, AIDAsol was connected to shore-side power facilities in Rostock-Warnemünde, Aarhus (Denmark), Kristiansand (Norway), and Hamburg.

This accomplishment showcases the growing availability of shore power in Northern Europe and marks a significant milestone in AIDA Cruises’ ongoing decarbonization efforts.

AIDA Cruises Shore Power
AIDA Cruises Shore Power (Photo Courtesy: AIDA Cruises)

AIDA President Felix Eichhorn expressed his enthusiasm for his company’s progress: “AIDA shows what can already be possible today. Our goal is to be able to use shore power in all ports in the future where port infrastructure is available.”

“With our investments in this clean technology, we are actively supporting the goals of the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ program to build a corresponding infrastructure in all major EU ports by 2030 because we can only achieve the energy transition together.”

The Fit for 55 is a  European climate law that makes reaching the EU’s climate goal of reducing EU emissions by at least 55% by 2030 a legal obligation. EU countries are working on new legislation to achieve this goal and make the EU climate-neutral by 2050. 

That 2050 goal from the EU is in line with what the cruise industry is trying to achieve through various initiatives in having less impact on the climate and ultimately becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Outfitting Older Ships with Shore Power is the Next Challenge

One area that will need extensive attention now and in the future will be older ships using shore power, such as AIDAsol. 

Outfitting older cruise ships with shore power capabilities is an excellent way for cruise companies to make strides toward becoming more sustainable. It allows cruise lines to take advantage of the benefits of shore power, including reduced emissions and cost-savings, two things that wouldn’t have been possible before.

AIDA Cruises Shore Power
AIDA Cruises Shore Power (Photo Courtesy: AIDA Cruises)

More importantly, in some areas, such as Italy, regulations are being implemented that mandate the use of shore power for cruise ships when docked.

By equipping older ships with shore power capabilities, cruise companies can ensure they comply with these regulations and continue using older ships on itineraries where shore power is mandated.

Cruise Industry’s Broader Approach to Sustainability

AIDA Cruises’ focus on shore power is just one example of how the industry is making strides toward a more sustainable future. Many other cruise lines also invest in new technologies and strategies to reduce emissions and improve overall environmental performance.

Carnival Corporation, which operates nine different cruise lines, including AIDA Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and more, revealed its sustainability report earlier this month, showing the immense progress the company has been making.

AIDAprima Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: AIDA Cruises

MSC Cruises has been making considerable efforts to become more environmentally responsible, with new ships that showcase what is currently possible in terms of environmental responsibility.

Both MSC Cruises and AIDA Cruises have also signed a memorandum of understanding with Cruise Baltic that aims to expand the use of shore power in the Baltic Sea region. While the four out of five ports AIDAsol achieved during her Baltic cruise is impressive, the aim is for cruise ships to use shore power while in port consistently. 

The use of shore power has several advantages for the port, the cruise line, and the environment. Connecting to shore power when docked can significantly reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. By minimizing these emissions, cruise ships can help improve air quality in port cities.

Utilizing shore power can also provide benefits for cruise lines in terms of being more cost-effective for ships, depending on local electricity prices and the cost of fuel. Also, if shore power is generated through wind or solar, cruise ships would theoretically be able to be fully carbon neutral during their stay in port. 

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