The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) welcomed its first Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) powered passenger ship, Mardi Gras, to the Flag.
Mardi Gras, Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest ship, will be operating out of Port Canaveral with voyages to the Caribbean and will spend much of her time in the ports of The Bahamas, giving her passengers and crew (potentially totalling well over 7,000 people) the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the islands and experience the renowned Bahamian hospitality.
Captain Dwain Hutchinson, Managing Director and CEO of The BMA, said: “We are proud of our close collaboration and relationship with Carnival Cruise Line and we thank them for making The Bahamas their flag of choice for this innovative vessel. As the world’s largest flag for passenger ships, and indeed for LNG vessels as well, we are an ideal partner for owners with ships transporting, or powered by, LNG. We have a deep understanding and extensive knowledge of both sectors and we continue to be an advocate on matters pertaining to both on the international regulatory stage.”
Along with the new LNG technology, the ship features a number of other ground-breaking attractions and amenities for its shipboard customers, but it is its use of an alternative fuel source that will have one of the greatest impacts on the maritime environment as the ship will be the first LNG powered vessel to operate in North America.
“The Bahamas is committed to the IMO sustainability goals and we are encouraged by our shipowners’ goal-based approach through designs and operational processes to achieve regulatory compliance, so it is particularly rewarding to the team at The BMA to have registered our first LNG powered cruise ship and we look forward to adding further newbuilding in the future,” added Captain Hutchinson.
Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, said: “The move to The Bahamas Maritime Authority makes business sense for a number of reasons. The Bahamas will be a frequent destination for Mardi Gras, and we are pleased to bring this new level of environmental sustainability to the many ports in The Bahamas and the Caribbean that the ship and our guests and crew will be visiting.”
Sea News, May 25