Silverstream air bubble tech for Carnival’s LNG-powered cruise ship

UK’s clean technology company Silverstream Technologies has secured an order from German shipbuilder Meyer Werft to install its air lubrication technology on a new Carnival Corporation’s Excel-class cruise ship.

Carnival Corporation's Sapphire Princess. Courtesy: Silverstream/Carnival
Carnival Corporation’s Sapphire Princess. Courtesy: Silverstream/Carnival

The Silverstream System uses a series of air release units (ARUs) in the flat bottom of a vessel to generate a rigid carpet of microbubbles that travel the full length of the hull.

The technology will be installed during the cruise ship’s construction, with Meyer Werft manufacturing the ARUs to Silverstream specifications. 

Once installed, the system will generate net fuel and emissions savings of more than 5%.

The 344-meter-long vessel will be operated by Carnival Cruise Line when delivered in 2023. Like other vessels in its class, the newbuild will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), paving the way for the next generation of low carbon passenger vessels.

The first LNG-powered Excel-class unit, Mardi Gras, started sailing in late July 2021.

The news follows the order and ongoing installation of the Silverstream System on P&O Cruises’ vessel Arvia, also an Excel-class vessel, which is currently under construction at Meyer Werft shipyard. 

Back in 2017, Silverstream installed its technology on the Princess Cruises’ vessel Diamond Princess. The independent verification of the performance of the system on this vessel – over 5% net fuel and emissions savings – as verified by class society Lloyd’s Register laid the groundwork for more installations. 

“A repeat order for our technology … reflects its viability to cut emissions and reduce fuel costs. These powerful savings, combined with our system’s high reliability, availability and low maintenance, means that we have become a critical part of Carnival’s sustainability roadmap,” Noah Silberschmidt, CEO, Silverstream Technologies, commented.

“Following … fuel and emission savings on Diamond Princess, and subsequent orders of the system, we value our relationship with Silverstream and are excited to explore more opportunities to champion clean technologies in the future,” Ben Clement, Senior Vice President, Newbuilds, Refurbishments & Product Innovation, Carnival Cruise Line, said.

In its recently released sustainability report, Carnival Corporation confirmed its aspirations to build zero-emission ships by 2050 that will be operated globally by its nine cruise line brands.

By 2050, the cruise giant will also strive to achieve 100 percent fleetwide shore power connection capability and net carbon neutral ship operations.

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