Cruise ships powered by LNG and fuel cells

Royal Caribbean’s new Icon-class design to use cleaner power
The newest class of ships from Royal Caribbean will be powered by liquefied natural gas and the use of fuel cell technology, the cruise giant has announced.
It says it is “ushering in a new era of shipbuilding that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions”.
The cruise line has signed a memorandum of understanding with shipbuilder Meyer Turku for the new class of vessel under the project name Icon. The vessels will be delivered in the second quarters of 2022 and 2024.
In the meantime, the company said it would begin testing fuel cell technology on an existing Oasis-class ship in 2017, and will also run progressively larger fuel cell projects on new Quantum-class vessels being built in the next few years.
“With Icon class, we move further in the journey to take the smoke out of our smokestacks,” proclaimed Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean’s chairman and chief executive.
The switch to LNG provides further momentum for the technology, which has begun making significant inroads in the maritime industry.
“Increasing the commitment to LNG makes it easier for suppliers to make their own infrastructure commitments,” said Fain. “As more ships are built for LNG, the number of ports that support it will grow.” The Icon ships are expected to run primarily on LNG but will also be able to run on distillate fuel, to accommodate occasional itineraries that call on ports without LNG infrastructure.
The news comes several months after MSC Cruises signed a letter of intent for up to four new LNG-powered megaships.
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