Cruise ship size record reset

2009-11-04

in Economics, Politics, Rants, The environment, Travel

At the end of October, the MS Oasis of the Seas was launched in Finland. It is the world’s largest cruise ship, 360 metres long, with capacity for 6,296 passengers. In November of next year, a second ship of the same class is expected to be launched: the MS Allure of the Seas. The ship is powered by three 13.9 megawatt (MW) engines and three 18.5 MW engines, with propulsion from three 20 MW Azipods.

I cannot help but think that if the advocates of the peak oil hypothesis are correct, these vessels will end up being viewed as the height of fossil-driven folly. The ship is also a reminder of how international waters remain the part of the planet with the most lax environmental standards, whether the pollutant in question is sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, or anything else. Indeed, large oceangoing vessels generally need to carry two types of fuel: one that is legal for use in the domestic waters of states with air pollution laws, and another that can only be used on the open ocean.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

. March 18, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Very big ships
The Danish armada
Maersk orders ten colossal vessels

Feb 24th 2011 | from the print edition

THEY will be the biggest container ships ever. And thanks to the scrappers, they will be the biggest vessels of any kind afloat when the first of them is launched in 2013. Maersk Line, a Danish shipper, announced on February 21st that it had ordered ten colossal vessels for $1.9 billion from South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding, with an option to order 20 more. This new Danish armada will alter the economics of container shipping.

Maersk’s new “Triple-E” ships (see artist’s impression above) will carry 18,000 boxes each, 2,500 more than the biggest container ship currently in service, which is also operated by Maersk. The new vessels will use 50% less fuel per container than the present average. With oil sailing past $100 a barrel, that will be good news both for the environment and for Maersk’s profits.

. January 27, 2014 at 4:30 pm

The industry’s worst fears, of a collapse in cruise bookings, proved to be misplaced. Worldwide, cruise ships’ passenger numbers rose in 2012 and 2013, in spite of the accidents. And Carnival remained profitable, as did its two main rivals, Royal Caribbean International (RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL). Revenues were hit, but they have begun to bounce back. Carnival’s revenues started to rise again in 2013, and analysts also expect both RCL and NCL to report strong growth this year.

. May 21, 2016 at 1:00 pm

The world’s largest cruise ship and its supersized pollution problem

As Harmony of the Seas sets sail from Southampton docks on Sunday she will leave behind a trail of pollution – a toxic problem that is growing as the cruise industry and its ships get ever bigger

. May 21, 2016 at 1:01 pm

“According to its owners, Royal Caribbean, each of the Harmony’s three four-storey high 16-cylinder Wärtsilä engines will, at full power, burn 1,377 US gallons of fuel an hour, or about 96,000 gallons a day of some of the most polluting diesel fuel in the world.

But marine pollution analysts in Germany and Brussels said that such a large ship would probably burn at least 150 tonnes of fuel a day, and emit more sulphur than several million cars, more NO2 gas than all the traffic passing through a medium-sized town and more particulate emissions than thousands of London buses.

According to leading independent German pollution analyst Axel Friedrich, a single large cruise ship will emit over five tonnes of NOX emissions, and 450kg of ultra fine particles a day.”

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