It’s been a busy week for Carnival Corporation. While one new LNG-powered ship, Carnival’s Mardi Gras, was named in Port Canaveral, two new LNG ships reached significant milestones in their construction in Europe.
The newest family member, Costa Toscana, completed her sea trials for the Italian cruise line Costa Cruises. For the German cruise line, AIDA Cruises the Excel-class AIDAcosma made the complex transfer from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, to Eemshaven in the Netherlands, to go through final outfitting and technical and nautical sea trials.
With two ships within a short time reaching significant milestones, the plans from Carnival Corporation to sail significantly cleaner cruise ships are undoubtedly gaining momentum.
Costa Toscana has completed her sea trials from the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland and AIDAcosma completed her complex River Ems conveyance to the North Sea from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.
AIDAcosma Completes Conveyance
At around half-past five on October 23, AIDAcosma reached Eemshaven following a complex River Ems conveyance which started on Friday night. The vessel went through backward through the tricky locks with just inches to spare between the vessel and the river banks. She will now prepare to begin her technical and nautical sea trials in November 2021.
During the sea trials, the engineers will test the vessel’s new Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system to reduce CO2 emissions, amongst many other items. Nitrogen oxides and particulate matter are almost entirely avoided – sulfur oxides are eliminated.
Costa Toscana Completes Sea Trials
Construction on Costa Toscana started in July of 2019 in the Meyer Turku yard in Finland with the first steel cutting. Costa Toscana is filled with modern technology and powered by LNG in port and at sea. The vessel completed her very important sea trials this week and is now close to her final delivery in December 2021.
Mario Zanetti, President of Costa Cruises, commented: “These additional key steps in the completion of the Costa Toscana confirm our commitment to evolution towards an increasingly sustainable cruise model. At the same time Costa Toscana, thanks to her excellent and innovative services, will be able to attract new cruise guests, helping us to consolidate our presence in the Mediterranean and our gradual restart plan”
The new Costa cruise ship which is the sister to Costa Smeralda also had its second part of the traditional coin ceremony held at Meyer Turku. Just like all new cruise ships during construction, commemorative coins were placed on the ship to bring good luck to the ship once in service.
Rather fittingly, both AIDAcosma and Costa Toscana will start sailing in the spring of 2022 on very similar itineraries. AIDAcosma will have Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca as her homeports. Costa Toscana will be sailing from four different ports, Marseille in France, Civitavecchia and Savona in Italy, and Barcelona in Spain.
The first scheduled cruise for AIDAcosma will depart from Barcelona on April 22, 2022. The ship will call at Palma de Mallorca in Spain, LaSpezia, and Civitavecchia in Italy, and Ajaccio, and Corsica on her maiden voyage. Guests have the opportunity to either sail Barcelona or Palma de Mallorca round trip.
For Costa Toscana, her maiden voyage will be on March 5, 2022, sailing from Savona, Italy. Guests can choose to board the ship on any of the itineraries’ homeports, which will call in Marseille, France, Barcelona, Spain, Valencia, Spain, Palermo, Sicily, Italy, and Civitavecchia.
Carnival Corporation’s LNG-Drive Gaining Momentum
Under the Excel-class of vessels, four are currently fully operational with passengers. Mardi Gras is sailing from the United States, P&O Cruises Iona is sailing from the UK, Costa Smeralda is sailing from Spain, and AIDAnova will resume operations in mid-December.
Carnival Corporation has plans for an additional three LNG-powered ships. This includes Carnival Celebration, sister ship to Mardi Gras; P&O Arvia, sistership to P&O Iona, and the last one will also be a Carnival Cruise Line addition, although first ordered for AIDA cruises.
All Excel-class cruise ships are between 180,000 and 185,000 gross tons, depending on the layout, and can carry up to 5,400 passengers.