Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has started building the first out of two LNG-powered cruise ships for Carnival’s Princess Cruises.
Fincantieri held a keel-laying ceremony for the ship on Friday in San Giorgio di Nogaro at Centro Servizi Navali, a company specialized in logistics and production of sheet metal for the Fincantieri yards.
The shipbuilder will construct the “Sphere” class LNG-powered vessel with a working name Hull 6310 at its Monfalcone yard.
At 175,000 gross tons, the vessel would become the largest ship built so far in Italy, according to Fincantieri.
Both of the ships will have the capacity to accommodate about 4,300 guests and whey will join the Princess Cruises’ fleet as the first LNG-powered ships.
US-based Princess Cruises previously said it had expected to take delivery of the first LNG-powered ship in late 2023, followed by the second in spring 2025.
Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise operator, is heavily investing in LNG as fuel as it looks to slash emissions and costs.
The firm’s units already operate several LNG-powered vessels. This includes Carnival Cruise Line’s LNG-powered Mardi Gras which recently left Port Canaveral with guests onboard following a long wait due to the Covid-19 pandemic.