Shipbuilding: AIDA’s Center of Gravity

AIDAprima (photo: Lappino)The new AIDAprima, launching late next year, will be some 20 percent more efficient than the line’s most recent newbuild, the AIDAstella.

“This is a brand-new ship class, we developed it from scratch, implementing everything possible with energy savings,” said Christian Schönrock, newbuilding director. “We have a completely new hull design, and have done a lot of work on the hotel side with new technology, including frequency-controlled motors on the HVAC system, and the automation is also completely new. It’s going to be 20 percent more efficient than our other ships.”

Explaining the concept of the build. Schönrock told Cruise Industry News it was not just a copy-and-paste job of successful energy savings ideas from here and there, but instead a completely new ship.

The new AIDA ships don’t look like anything else on water today, with a unique hull design featuring an underwater air bubble system and, interestingly, lacking the traditional bulbous bow that is supposed to help the ship cut a hole in the water.

 “The biggest impact for fuel is to slow the ships down,” said Schönrock, adding that the hull design was key to the ship’s efficiencies.

Schönrock has also been able to push the center of gravity much more forward than before.

 “That is an ongoing discussion with the yards,” he continued. “As the engine rooms were going farther aft, you get more volume in the back and problems with the hull lines.”

Thus, AIDA made a decision very early in the design process to move the engine room some 50 meters forward – and that change, moving the center of gravity, will be beneficial to fuel burn.

A flat-bottom hull design allows Mitsubishi’s air bubble system to get air under it, which in theory allows the ship to glide more easily through the water.

“It works most efficiently when you have a flat-bottom surface,” he added. “It reduces friction for slow steaming.”

Among the highlights in the interior of the ship is an upgraded atrium with a near-full 360-degree stage along with LED walls, and more LED technologies in structural pillars and on the ceiling.

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Fall 2014

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