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Royal Caribbean Group to test marine biofuel on 2 cruise ships this summer

Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Apex (Photo: Royal Caribbean Group)

This summer, Royal Caribbean Group will set a new industry milestone in alternative-fuel use when Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Apex and Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas set sail in Europe using sustainable marine biofuel to meet part of the ships’ fuel needs.

The landmark test will contribute critical data and research on the fuel’s capabilities and supply-chain infrastructure needed to further the industry’s alternative-fuel ambitions.

Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas (Photo: Royal Caribbean Group)

During the three-month test, Celebrity Apex will depart from the Port of Rotterdam and Symphony of the Seas will depart from the Port of Barcelona using a marine biofuel blend that reduces the ships’ carbon emissions.

“Biofuels will play an increasingly important role in achieving not only our own but the entire maritime sector’s decarbonization goals in the short and medium term,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group. “We take great pride in continuing to push our industry forward in exploring innovative fuel solutions that reduce carbon impact and preserve the vibrancy of the oceans we sail.”

The cruise company plans to continue increasing the use of alternative lower-carbon fuel to meet the needs of its ships across the fleet.

After the trials are completed this summer, Royal Caribbean Group plans to scale up the use of alternative fuels, including biofuels, across upcoming European summer sailings.

“With our sights set on a bright and sustainable future, we are committed to collaboration and innovation to ensure we deliver great vacation experiences, responsibly,” Liberty said. “With the completion of the trials our hope is to advance our ships’ ability to meaningfully reduce emissions and propel forward strategic partnerships with suppliers and ports to ensure there is sufficient availability of biofuel and infrastructures to make maritime energy transition a reality.”

This key step in Royal Caribbean Group’s pursuit of alternative fuels follows closely after a marine biofuel trial on its California-based Navigator of the Seas became the first a cruise ship to sail from a U.S. port while using renewable diesel fuel this past fall.

The company said trialing biofuels is a step that moves the company closer to achieving Destination Net Zero, its vision for net-zero emissions by 2050.



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