Start of construction of the first large methanol-ready cruise ship in Finland
Construction began today in Turku, Finland on the first major cruise ship designed to be methanol ready for future conversion to what is considered to be one of the next generation fuels for the ‘industry. Built for TUI Cruises in Germany, the ship marks a milestone for the cruise industry and for its builder Meyer Turku, who was also a pioneer in large LNG-powered cruise ships. To date, only a handful of ships worldwide are capable of running on methanol, while Maersk and several others in container shipping have led the industry with orders for methanol-fueled ships.
TUI and Meyer Turku today announced at the first steel cutting ceremony at the Finnish shipyard that the new construction, Mein Schiff 7, adapted its design to become the first methanol-ready cruise ship. The 111,500 gross ton cruise ship, due to enter service in 2024, will be a sister to two previous Meyer Turku builds delivered in 2018 and 2019. No details were provided on what changes will be made to the systems of propulsion to accommodate future fuel, but they noted that it could run on methanol or bio-methanol when the fuel becomes available.
“The decision to prepare Mein Schiff 7 for a methanol drive is an important investment in the future for us,” said Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises, a joint venture between Germany’s TUI Group and Royal Caribbean Group. “Mein Schiff 7 will move us forward in our work for more environmentally friendly cruise tourism. The ship will be built in such a way that it can be used with methanol. In addition, the ship’s operations in the port are nearly emission-free. Mein Schiff 7 is an important step in our efforts to provide the first climate-neutral cruises by 2030.”
According to the cruise line, essential elements of the Mein Schiff concept, including a high proportion of outside cabins and balconies, a large choice of restaurants and bars, spacious outdoor areas, as well as spa and sports areas with a swimming pool of more than 90 feet long will remain unchanged on the new cruise ship. It will be 1,035 feet long and will accommodate 2,894 passengers (double occupancy) with a crew of approximately 1,000.
“We have again focused on optimizing the design with respect to energy efficiency and technologies to increase durability to make this vessel the best in the entire series,” comments Tim Meyer, CEO of Meyer. Turku.
The cruise ship will initially be operated with low-emission marine diesel and is equipped with catalytic converters and shore power connection. According to TUI, this ensures nearly emission-free ship operation while the ship is in port, which will account for around 40% of its operating time. For even more efficient waste treatment, Mein Schiff 7 will also be equipped with a system capable of shredding organic waste by thermal treatment and preparing it for further use on land.
Meyer Turku was also a pioneer in building LNG-powered cruise ships. They delivered the Costa Smeralda in 2019 and since then the Mardi Gras and Costa Tuscany. The Carnival Celebration is currently nearing completion and the yard is constructing the Icon of the seas which will become Royal Caribbean International’s first LNG-powered cruise ship. Two Icon-class sister ships are due for delivery in 2024 and 2025.
The Mein Schiff 7 is the last of the Mein Schiff cruise ships currently on order with the Finnish shipyard. Meyer has built cruise ships for TUI over the past decade. The cruise line also has two LNG-powered cruise ships currently on order with Fincantieri in Italy, scheduled for delivery by 2026.