AIDA Cruises has been investing in a future-proof and sustainable cruise market for many years as part of its Green Cruising Strategy. To this end, the company is working with partners from research, science, and industry to develop innovative solutions and use technologies that pave the way to net carbon-neutral ship operations.
As part of its CO2 emissions reduction efforts, AIDA Cruises has now started the use of biofuels. On July 21, 2022, AIDAprima became the first larger scale cruise ship to be bunkered with a blend of marine biofuel, which is made from 100 percent sustainable raw materials such as waste cooking oil, and marine gas oil (MGO) during its layover in Rotterdam. The cooperation partner is the Dutch biofuel pioneer GoodFuels. AIDAprima is currently sailing on seven-day voyages to the metropolises of Western Europe and to Norway from/to Hamburg.
The current project represents an important milestone in AIDA Cruises’ decarbonisation strategy. In addition to the use of biofuels, this includes the installation of the first fuel cell on board AIDAnova and the commissioning of what is currently the largest battery storage system in cruise shipping with a capacity of ten megawatt hours on board AIDAprima. Furthermore, AIDA Cruises is focusing on the expansion and increased use of shore power while in port.
Felix Eichhorn, President AIDA Cruises, emphasises, “We continue to actively explore all opportunities to decarbonise our fleet while advancing efficiency in line with international carbon intensity reduction targets. With the successful start of biofuel usage, we have proven that gradual decarbonisation is possible even on ships already in service. An important prerequisite for us as a cruise line to be able to use it is that it becomes widely available on an industrial scale and at marketable prices.”
Commenting on the partnership, Dirk Kronemeijer, CEO of GoodFuels, said: “This first bio-bunkering with AIDA Cruises marks an exciting step forward on the cruise industry’s decarbonisation pathway, demonstrating that our sustainable biofuels are a safe, technically viable and convenient option to drastically cut down emissions from passenger vessels. As the effects of climate change are felt acutely in several parts of the world, the time for action is now, and biofuels are one of the few options that can already make a difference today. We are delighted to have worked alongside the trail-blazers at AIDA Cruises in the past few months to make this milestone a reality, and we look forward to collaborating again in the future.”
AIDA Cruises had previously tested the use of regenerated biofuels in marine diesel engines together with research partners at the University of Rostock. Now the first roll-out has taken place in regular ship operations. The cooperation with GoodFuels is now to be developed on a long-term basis.
GoodFuels’ sustainable and certified biofuels are virtually free of sulfur oxides and offer CO2 reductions of 80 to 90 percent compared to fossil fuels. They are functionally equivalent to petroleum-derived fuels and can be used in already installed ship main engines without modifications to the engine or fuel infrastructure. This makes the use of biofuels in regular ship operations comparatively easy, unlike other technological investments.
AIDA Cruises is nominated as Europe’s Leading Cruise Line 2022 by World Travel Awards.