Royal Caribbean International has signed a memorandum of agreement with Meyer Turku for the construction of two new ships which will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and introduce the use of fuel cell technology.
Known as Project Icon, the two new ships will be delivered in 2022 and 2024. Royal Caribbean International has said it will begin testing fuel cell technology on an existing Oasis-class ship in 2017 and will carry out progressively larger fuel cell projects on the new Quantum-class vessels once they launch. Both ships will accommodate around 5,000 passengers.
"With Icon class, we move further in the journey to take the smoke out of our smokestacks," said Richard Fain, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. "We are dedicated to innovation, continuous improvement, and environmental responsibility and Icon gives us the opportunity to deliver against all three of these pillars."
"Our guests expect us to push every envelope we can," said Michael Bayley, President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean International. "And on this new class of ship, we began by challenging ourselves to find a new approach to power and propulsion that is safe, reliable, and more energy-efficient than ever before."
"Our partnership with RCL has created a number of ground-breaking ship classes, such as Oasis, Celebrity Solstice, Quantum, and Mein Schiff, and we are grateful that Royal Caribbean is again giving us the opportunity to partner with them on a new class of ships," said Jan Meyer, the CEO of Meyer Turku.
"We believe fuel cells offer very interesting design possibilities," said Harri Kulovaara, RCL's chief of ship design. "As the technology becomes smaller and more efficient, fuel cells become more viable in a significant way to power the ship's hotel functions. We will begin testing those possibilities as soon as we can, and look to maximize their use when Icon class debuts."