Wärtsilä to enable Celebrity Cruises’ 5th Edge-Class Ship to run on methanol

Technology group Wärtsilä will supply the engines for Celebrity Cruises’ fifth Edge Series cruise vessel enabling the ship to run on methanol as fuel.

Wärtsilä methanol engines offer a route to maritime decarbonisation. © Wärtsilä

Wärtsilä said that it would convert two Wärtsilä 46F engines to allow them to utilise methanol as fuel, marking the first-ever such conversion for this particular engine type. The engines will also be capable of operating with two other conventional fuel types.

The project builds on the close collaboration between Celebrity Cruises’ parent company Royal Caribbean Group, Wärtsilä and shipyard Chantiers de L’Atlantique (CdA) in advancing the use of alternative fuels for the cruise industry. 

The cruise ship was ordered back in 2019. The yet-to-be-named 140,600 GT cruise vessel will measure 327 meters in length and have a breadth of 39 meters.

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Incorporating methanol-ready engines represents the next step towards achieving Destinations Net Zero for Celebrity Cruises and its parent company in its vision for net zero emissions by 2050.

“As we innovate our ship design and offerings, we’re also focused on equally evolving the fuel and technology landscape that powers them,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group.

“By incorporating tri-fueled engines, we are ensuring that as alternative, low-carbon-based solutions become more viable, our ships will be ready to adapt and drive the industry forward to a more sustainable and net zero emissions future.”

“With the launch of our Edge Series of ships in 2018, we set ambitious sustainability goals to make these ships the most energy efficient large vessels at sea,” said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. “Working collaboratively with our expert partners, we have continued to develop new technologies and achieve breakthroughs with each subsequent ship.”

“Wärtsilä has invested heavily into researching viable future carbon-neutral fuels for the marine industry, and methanol has emerged as one of the most promising candidates. This will be the second methanol-fuelled engine conversion that we have undertaken, and the first with the Wärtsilä 46F engine,” commented Håkan Agnevall, President and CEO of Wärtsilä.

The full Wärtsilä scope includes two 8-cylinder Wärtsilä 46F engines capable of operating with methanol as fuel, two 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 46F engines, and one Wärtsilä 32 engine. Wärtsilä will convert the 46F engines to run on methanol at the yard, prior to commissioning.

“Development and integration of methanol systems on a cruise ship is a new challenge for Chantiers de l’Atlantique and, for the first time, is part of our decarbonisation programme,” Laurent Castaing, General manager of Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard added.

The order for the engines was included in Wärtsilä’s order book in January 2023 and the vessel is scheduled for delivery from the yard in 2025.