Over the course of the last ten years, the cruise industry has seen the launch of increasingly larger ships. Vessels such as Norwegian Epic; Cunard’s Queen Mary II; and, more recently, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas all have a capacity for over 3,000 passengers.
It should come as no surprise then that Carnival Corporation has announced they will be constructing four new ships - each with a capacity for more passengers than ever before. Cruise Franchise takes a closer look at this exciting news for the industry and whether it is ever possible to have too many passengers on board a ship.
These four new ships are all due to launch between 2019 and 2022, with two ships joining German cruise line AIDA and the other two joining the Costa Group, which consists of AIDA and Italian cruise line, Costa. Each will provide capacity for 6,600 passengers and additional crew members. That comes to a staggering total of over 7,000 people per ship.
Information beyond that is currently limited, but we do know that, despite the high passenger capacity, the ships will still be able to dock in most ports around the world. Each of the four new ships will have a gross tonnage in excess of 180,000. Whilst that is currently larger than any other ship under Carnival Corporation, it is some way off Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas (227,700 GRT), which is due to launch in 2016.
Many will question the comfortability of cruising on such a large ship and whether passengers will be able to find tranquility on board. In a news release made by the company, Carnival Corporation stated that the ships will be no more crowded than other options within the fleet and that there would be enhanced public spaces on board.
The company have also emphasised that the cabins will be a similar size to those found on other Carnival ships and each passenger will find more than enough sufficient space on board. This means we are unlikely to see the features synonymous with Royal Caribbean, such as skydiving simulators and bumper cars. The ships will be built with personal space in mind.
Adhering to international laws on sewage, air pollution and dumping rubbish into the sea, which was introduced to ensure large ships are sustainable for the environment, is unquestionably an important subject. It has been announced that each of these four new ships will run on liquefied natural gas, making them the most environmentally friendly ships ever built.
Considering the fuel consumption of some of the largest ships in the world at full power is 1,377 gallons per hour, it was evident that something needed to be changed. For Carnival Corporation, which has the highest collective number of passengers across its fleet, this move will hopefully set an example for future cruise ships.
It may not be easy or inexpensive, but introducing greener methods for the cruise industry is overdue. The use of liquefied natural gas will allow Carnival Corporation to reduce their carbon output and adhere to strict European greenhouse gas regulations.
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