AIDA Cruises rejects NABU claims on AIDAprima emissions

Written by Nick Blenkey
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NABU operative measuring AIDAprima emissions

MAY 6, 2016 —  Carnival’s German market cruise brand AIDA Cruises is rejecting claims by environmentalist group NABU that its new flag ship, AIDAprima, is “anything but” environmentally friendly.

Built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki Shipyard, the recently delivered cruise ship boasts a number of “green” features, including the Mitsubishi Air Lubricated Hull System and, according to Aida, exhaust gas treatment technology, “able to filter and thus reduce by between 90 and 99 percent all three significant emissions, namely soot particles, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur oxide.”

NABU says, however, that measurements it has taken in the Port of Hamburg indicate a lack of any exhaust gas treatment technology.

The environmental group says that its measurements found “an alarming concentration” of ultrafine particles in the ship’s exhaust gas plume. According to NABU, its gauges gave readings of up to 160,000 particles per cubic centimeter, a value that NABU says is about 150 times higher than the values ​​of “clean” air and eight more than the already high background levels in the port area.  

“We reject the accusations in the strongest terms,” said Dr. Monika Griefahn, Director for Environment and Sustainability, AIDA Cruises, calling the NABU statement “pure propaganda.”

She said the measurements taken by NABU lacked any scientific basis and used no recognized test methods. She added that AIDAprima has the most advanced environmental technology currently technically feasible on a passenger ship and that the multi-stage exhaust aftertreatment system is being tested in accordance with the requirements for statutory approvals and that the cruise line cannot disregard its legal obligations.

Dr. Griefahn said that, following approval from the Environmental Protection Agency of the City of Hamburg, AIDAprima will operate using LNG-generated power this Saturday in the first test mode with the LNG hybrid barge Hummel.

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