Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: High prices: cruise ships run on diesel instead of LNG

The gas crisis does not stop at the cruise industry either.

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: High prices: cruise ships run on diesel instead of LNG

The gas crisis does not stop at the cruise industry either. Although liquefied natural gas is considered a more environmentally friendly fuel, it is sometimes too expensive for shipowners.

Rostock/Hamburg (dpa/mv) - Due to increased prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG), some cruise ships are currently not using the fuel, which is considered more environmentally friendly. This applies to the two cruise ships "Aidanova" and "Aidacosma", as Aida spokesman Hansjörg Kunze confirmed on Thursday on request. Instead, they've been running on marine gas oil (MGO) - a diesel fuel - for a couple of weeks now. The "Hamburger Abendblatt" had previously reported about it.

According to their own statements, Costa Cruises is also affected. "The ongoing energy crisis is leading to far-reaching disruptions in access to and overall supply of liquefied natural gas," the company said. It is about the ships "Costa Toscana" and "Costa Smeralda". The use of LNG is temporarily suspended. "The ships will now temporarily run on low-sulphur marine gas oil (MGO). Once the energy market stabilizes, we will resume LNG operations."

Aida spokesman Kunze made a similar statement, but one cannot foresee the price development. "Price increases have been significant, not to say explosive," he said. LNG has become three to five times more expensive. A delivery at reasonable prices is not possible. The engines of both ships are built for dual-fuel operation and can use both MGO and LNG. LNG not only reduces local emissions, but is also the bridging technology in the future to possible operation with emission-free gases.

The "Aidanova", which went into service in 2018, was the world's first cruise ship that could be operated entirely with LNG. She is currently traveling around the Canary Islands. The "Aidacosma" is in the Arabian Gulf.

According to its own statements, the cruise line TUI Cruises is not affected because none of the ships are currently using LNG. However, two new buildings, one of which is to be commissioned in autumn 2024 and another in 2026, are to run on LNG, a spokeswoman said on request. TUI Cruises also sees a step towards climate-neutral cruises, as the ships could also be operated with lower-emission and more climate-friendly LNG types. Another new building - the "Mein Schiff 7", which is scheduled to go into service in spring 2024, is said to run on marine diesel. In the future, however, it could also run on so-called green methanol, which is obtained from renewable energies.

The "Hamburger Abendblatt" also refers to the ferry company Fjord Line. This had announced that its two LNG ships, the "MS Stavangerfjord" and "MS Bergensfjord" from pure LNG engines to dual-fuel engines. Unfortunately, rising fuel costs for LNG lead to a profit situation that is not sustainable. "The energy crisis triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine has led to extraordinarily high and volatile LNG prices," it said in a statement. It is sad to have to make a conversion to also be able to drive with MGO. Routes between Denmark and Norway are affected.

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