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AIDA Cruises installs EMMA onboard its fleet

AIDA Cruises, the German contemporary market unit in the Carnival Corp & plc group, says it has installed an energy monitoring and management system on board its vessels.

"With the installation of the highly innovative energy monitoring and management system EMMA by ABB, AIDA Cruises sets new standards for the energy management onboard of its fleet. In addition to collecting a huge database of operational and technical information, the systems main function is to give real-time decision support for operating the ship and its systems as close to the optimum as possible," the company said in a statement. One of its most important features is its direct link to the ships automation system as well as to the shore-side organisation of AIDA Cruises.

With its comprehensive scientific approach to analysing operational data, ABB`s EMMA provides an enormous potential for improving the fleets energy performance. As of now, the new energy monitoring system has already been set up and commissioned on six AIDA ships and will be installed onto the whole fleet. Just months after the first installations, the system has allowed AIDA to identify important focus areas and to assign new priorities for both technical improvements as well as optimising operations.

"At AIDA we've realised that in order to achieve maximum efficiency, we must approach energy management onboard clinically and scientifically. This is why we installed ABB`s EMMA. The biggest benefit of having such an advanced energy management system onboard is that mathematically analysed key performance indicators are at your fingertips, not only raw data," says Jens Lassen, Senior Vice President Marine Operations at AIDA Cruises.

"AIDA is recognised as one of the most environmentally friendly cruise operators and the company sets high demands for the solutions it deploys onboard the vessels. We are pleased that AIDA selected ABBs EMMA energy monitoring and management system to further improve the environmental footprint of their fleet", says Heikki Soljama, Managing Director for ABBs marine and ports business.

Overall, 500 signals per second are transmitted from the ships automation system to the EMMA virtual machine. The seven top-level categories that are tracked are: propulsion power, propulsion efficiency, vessel trim, hotel and auxiliary power, air condition power per person, specific fuel oil consumption of the main diesel generators as well as total fuel consumption.

This gives valuable information to the crew and allows for a detailed drill-down of each parameter if needed. Systems and singular set-points on board can be adjusted as needed, contributing to an energy-efficient operation of the ship. Examples of this may be changing the engine configuration and loading, route planning with speed management or by optimising the trim or waste heat recovery.

Two cruise ship drydocks at Lloyd Werft

With another cruise shipping summer just around the corner the industry’s floating holiday islands are now being made ready for a new season. That’s why two of them are calling at Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven at the same time for repair and modernisation. MS "Voyager" has already docked. She arrived on Monday March 30th and will be followed on April 16th by the MS "National Geographic Explorer". The latter ship is making her third visit to Bremerhaven’s traditional cruise ship yard.

The 15,396 GT "Voyager", which is 152.5 m long and 20.560 m wide, is an old acquaintance of Project Manager Carl Ratjen. The ship, built in Valencia, was fitted with a new bulbous bow at Lloyd Werft in 2010 when she was still called "Alexander von Humboldt". "Voyager" has in fact changed her owner six times since 1990. Built in that year as "Crown Monarch" she has since been called "Nautican", "Walrus", "Jules Verne" and "Alexander von Humboldt" before sailing now as "Voyager" with mainly English passengers for the English shipping company All Leisure Holidays Ltd.

During her 15 day stay in the yard’s big Kaiserdock II, the 25-year-old cruise ship will undergo extensive blasting and conservation work, work on 14 ship tanks, inspection of all sea-valves and a range of work on pipe and valve systems. In addition, the job docket lists the renewal of rubber-headed components on the ship’s bow thruster tunnel as well as the adaption of all the ship’s lifeboats to the latest IMO safety regulations.

Along with the necessary class work on "Voyager" while she is in dock, Lloyd Werft will also carry out the yard’s programme of standard work. The ship will get a new hull bottom coating and will also be made good to look at by the 470 passengers who will sail in her during the new cruise shipping season. "Voyager" leaves Bremerhaven on April 14th for Harwich to take new passengers on board there.

The small, 6,471 GT expedition cruise ship "National Geographic Explorer", is no stranger to Lloyd Werft and previously visited the yard in 2013 and 2014. She does not need to enter the floating dock this time. Now 33 years old and ice-strengthened, the 112 m long and 16.5 m wide ship specialises in ambitious cruises into Arctic and Antarctic waters. Her 148 passengers are accommodated in 81 outside cabins. The cruise ship was built in 1982 as "Midnatsol" for Norway’s Hurtigruten. She was bought in 2007 by the U.S. shipping company Lindblad Expeditions and converted into an expedition ship.
After looking the ship over in Funchal in Madeira, Lloyd Werft personnel have already gone on board in Bilbao to begin preparations at sea for the work to be undertaken at the Bremerhaven yard between April 16th and 30th. She will berth at the outfitting quay where her central air conditioning plant and related chillers and pipe-work will be replaced. Lloyd Werft personnel will also manufacture and install a new boiler room on board. In addition to this, an extensive programme of repairs will be carried out along with work on the ship’s piping system. The conversion of the portside access door is another job which has to be completed before the "National Geographic Explorer" can set sail again for Arctic waters on April 30th.

MCP CEO: Coming 4G networks can revolutionize cruise ship passenger experience

The days of the thoroughly immersed and mobile-connected passenger are not on the horizon. Instead, those days have already arrived, says Maritime Communications Partner CEO Frode Stoldal.

Stoldal, who has been at the helm of MCP as its CEO for six months, worked hard trying during his time at Cruise Shipping Miami to convince major cruise lines that they need to start "thinking more outside of the box" as far as how to optimize the benefits of Internet connectivity on their ships.

MCP has signed a six-year contract with Norwegian oil company Statoil to build the world's largest 4G network at sea. The offshore network -- on the Norwegian Continental Shelf – uses oil rigs, platforms and supply vessels to expand coverage.  This type of project, which is in its pilot phase now and expected to be fully ready by the end of the year, will be used by ferries initially.
But Stoldal says the implications of this expanding technology and connectivity speeds can be a game-changer for cruise ships. MCP has options to build similar networks off South America and Africa.

"The cruise industry is still in a 2G and 3G world," Stoldal said. "They are decades behind. Their customers want a better experience for Facebook and other ways of being connected.
"You have to invest in digital technology."

MCP has more than 60 cruise ship clients. The company signed a contract in January to provide advanced mobile communication services for 33 Carnival Corp. vessels. But MCP thinks the lines can do more to interact with their customers who increasingly want to remain attached to their mobile phones while cruising.

In Stoldal's vision: the cruise line gives passengers faster speeds onboard and continues to have conversations with them throughout the cruise (text messages announce specials and onshore activities, for example), provides services (ticketing for events onshore) and stays in touch after their holidays are over (marketing). For MCP, the "connected passenger experience" works along a spectrum that connects, informs, interacts, analyzes and personalizes.

Stoldal says virtualized software packages placed on ships with the new system would enable ships to cache content and save bandwidth, which improves speed and the overall customer experience. Such upgrades can also improve how equipment communicates with equipment within ship systems, Stoldal says.

"You have to make your ship intelligent," he said. "You have to invest in digital technology. The industry is a little conservative … it needs a refresher when it comes to technology. Not just 'Give me cheaper bandwidth.' "

TTS to supply shell doors and platforms for Star Cruises newbuilds

TTS Marine AB, part of the international TTS Group, has been chosen to provide electric shell door solutions and complete electric drive systems for two mega cruise ships built at the German shipyard Meyer Werft. The sister ships, commissioned by the leading Asia-Pacific cruise line Star Cruises, will be the first large cruise vessels with all-electric shell doors.

"We appreciate this opportunity to develop further our important relationship with Meyer Werft and of course take great pride in providing energy-efficient and eco-friendly solutions for the next generation of cruise ships," says Mats Olsson, Sales Manager Cruise at TTS.

TTS’ scope of supply for the Star Cruises project includes all-electric shell doors, cargo elevators, loading platforms and tender embarkation platforms with electrically operated aluminium stairs for crew and passengers. According to Olsson, TTS’ electric systems have a number of obvious advantages over hydraulic ones.

"They are more energy-efficient and quieter and require less maintenance as there is no need to maintain hydraulic hoses or cylinder seals. The system is very compact and will save space in the ship compared to a central hydraulic power system.. Since installing electric cables is easier than fitting pipes, electric systems also save time and cost during shipbuilding. Add the fact that electric systems eliminate the risk of spillage of hydraulic oil and there is no doubt that they both contribute to a greener cruise industry and reduce the vessels’ lifetime costs."

The electric solution developed by TTS runs on standard marine voltage and have a robust mechanical design with quick and simple installation of the electric actuators, which creates easy service access and redundancy. All installations will be fully integrated with a data bus system in a user-friendly interface. The solutions are also designed to facilitate a remote monitoring and fault- finding system via satellite or 3G.

The 151,000 ton 21-deck cruise ships will each accommodate some 5,000 passengers.

"We will of course do our uttermost to facilitate smooth and efficient handling of passengers and cargo and ensure that our solutions in detail match the expectations of modern cruise passengers," Olsson says.

The first ship, to be named Genting World, is due for delivery to Star Cruises in fall 2016; its sister ship a year later. They will both be put in service in the rapidly growing Asian cruise market.

ABB's marine solutions to boost efficiency, reliability and flexibility of Tallink's first LNG-powered ferry

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, today announced that the company has won an order to deliver complete electric power plant, electrical propulsion systems and an energy management solution for Estonia-based Tallink Grupp´s new liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered fast ferry. This deliver will strengthen ABB´s position as the leading supplier of electrical propulsion systems for LNG-powered ferries.

The large-scale ferry will be built at Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland for delivery in the beginning of 2017. The vessel will be about 212 meters in length with a gross tonnage of 49,000. The ferry, planned to carry 2,800 passengers, will operate between Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, and Helsinki, the capital of Finland. The ferry route, when measured in annual passenger volumes, is the one of the most significant in the Baltic Sea region with approximately 7.4 million passengers in 2013. The passengers on the route between Helsinki and Tallinn represent the vast majority (over 80%) of the passenger traffic in the Port of Tallinn.

ABB’s delivery will help the new ship to minimize fuel and power consumption while providing reliable power supply for all the electrical power equipment and systems in the LNG powered ferry. ABB will deliver the complete power plant and propulsion systems, including efficient, well-proven synchronous propulsion motors and ACS600SD drives, medium voltage generators, the main switchboard, propulsion transformers, and thruster motors. ABB will also provide engineering, project management and commissioning services including remote diagnostic services, comprehensive training for the crew and an access to ABB´s worldwide marine service network that will guarantee a professional service contacts in both ports.

The new vessel’s energy efficiency will be taken one step further with ABB’s energy management system EMMA, which will support the vessels’ crew in managing energy-related processes, practices and decision-making, minimizing the vessels’ overall energy costs.

LNG as a shipping fuel can help significantly reduce the environmental impacts of maritime transport. With this fuel, NOx, SOx and particulate emissions can be reduced by 85-100% in comparison with heavy fuel oil (HFO). As an LNG-powered ship, the new ferry will comply with the new strict emission regulations for the Emission Control Areas (ECA), which include the Baltic Sea.

 “Meyer Turku is one of Europe’s leading shipyards and we are happy to continue working with them on this advanced newbuild for Tallink Grupp,” says Heikki Soljama, Managing Director for ABB’s Marine and Ports business. “Electrical propulsion is a natural choice for modern LNG-powered ferries that require efficient and reliable solutions that increase the vessel’s flexibility. With a full delivery of power and propulsion solutions, an energy management system and service support, ABB can help Tallink Grupp optimize the operational efficiency of this new generation LNG ferry.”

“When designing the new LNG-powered ferry, we selected world-class solutions and suppliers that will make the vessel environmentally sustainable throughout and operationally efficient for many years to come. As the market leader in the Tallinn-Helsinki route, we are proud to set the standard for the next generation of passenger ferries,” says Tarvi-Carlos Tuulik, Head of Ship management from AS Tallink Grupp. “As ABB is the world´s leading supplier of propulsion and power systems for passenger vessels, we also expect first class support on operation.”

During the last two decades, ABB has delivered marine solutions to 34 passenger vessels built by Meyer Group, which is renowned for building many of the world’s most advanced cruise vessels.