It’s official: LNG (liquefied natural gas), known as the cleanest burning fossil fuel, is the next big thing in cruise travel. Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited now each have new ships powered by the fuel variety on order to make their fleets more environmentally friendly and boost efficiency.
Of course, this isn’t the first time cruise ships have made an effort to go greener. When Royal Caribbean was corporately introducing Celebrity Cruises’ Millennium-class ships and Royal Caribbean International’s Radiance-class ships (Radiance of the Seas pictured above), for example, they were touted as gas turbine vessels. Gas turbines are essentially the same as an airplane’s jet engines used as generators to produce more efficient velocities with reduced emissions compared to traditional diesel generators, which still remain a pillar in the cruise industry.
However, gas turbines require special fuels that, as world economics changed since the early 2000s, proved cost prohibitive over time. This has even prompted the replacement of such gas turbine technology with traditional diesel.
Now LNG is on the rise, p