Carnival Corporation expands installation of innovative air lubrication systems

World's largest cruise company to install air lubrication technology on at least 20% of the ships in its fleet to reduce hull drag, fuel consumption and carbon emissions

Carnival Corporation expands installation of innovative air lubrication systems
Photo: Carnival Corporation

Carnival Corporation has announced plans to expand the program for installation of Air Lubrication Systems (ALS) to a majority of the cruise line brands in its fleet through 2027, which is expected to generate significant savings in fuel consumption and carbon emissions by reducing hull drag by approximately 5% per ship.

Carnival Corporation is currently installing the Silverstream® System ALS on five total ships, including two ships in 2022 for its Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises (UK) brands. In addition, the company is planning at least 10 more installations for existing and newbuild ships across more than half of its cruise line brands, and it expects continued expansion of the ALS program over time. The expansion plans build on the success of four systems currently operating on ships from its AIDA Cruises and Princess Cruises brands.

The Silverstream® System operates by generating a uniform carpet of air bubbles that reduces friction between a ship's hull and the water. The system is effective in all sea conditions and is suitable for both newbuild and retrofit installations.

ALS technology, which first saw service within the Carnival Corporation fleet in 2016 with the introduction of AIDAprima, generates a cushion of air bubbles to lubricate the flat bottom of a ship's hull, reducing friction between the ship and surrounding water, resulting in savings in energy and fuel consumption across a wide speed range.

Bill Burke, chief maritime officer for Carnival Corporation, said:

"The installation of air lubrication technology is another example of our ongoing efforts to drive energy efficiency and reduce fuel consumption and emissions throughout our fleet. We look forward to expanding the ALS program and furthering our long-term sustainability strategy to continually invest in a broad range of energy reduction initiatives, which has included over $350 million invested in energy efficiency improvements since 2016."

As part of its longer-term sustainability plan, Carnival Corporation remains focused on its commitment and efforts to establish a pathway to decarbonization. Having peaked its absolute carbon emissions in 2011, the company has made significant progress over the past 15 years reducing its carbon emission intensity – despite significant capacity growth during that time – and achieved its 2020 carbon intensity reduction goal three years ahead of schedule (in 2017).