Royal Caribbean Group Completes Biofuel Testing

Symphony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Group announced the completion of over 12 consecutive weeks of biofuel testing in Europe in a press release.

“This is a pivotal moment for Royal Caribbean Group’s alternative fuel journey,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. “Following our successful trial of biofuels this summer, we are one step closer to bringing our vision for net-zero cruising to life. As we strive to protect and promote the vibrant oceans we sail, we are determined to accelerate innovation and improve how we deliver vacation experiences responsibly.”

Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas became the first ship in the maritime industry to successfully test and use a biofuel blend to meet part of the ship’s fuel needs on September 19. 

The company confirmed that onboard technical systems met operational standards, without safety concerns. The tests across Europe also provided relevant insights to understand the availability and scalability of biofuel in the region.

“Royal Caribbean’s success is a clear example of how commitment to innovation makes possible the development of solutions to decarbonize the maritime sector. In this case, it involves the cruise sector and focuses on biofuels, an area in which the Port of Barcelona is already working to become an energy hub, producing and supplying zero-carbon fuels, such as green hydrogen and ammonia, and of other almost zero-carbon alternative fuels, such as methanol, biofuels or synthetic fuels. Innovation and collaboration between ports and shipping companies is key to accelerating the decarbonization of maritime transport,” said the President of the Port of Barcelona, Lluís Salvadó.

Royal Caribbean began testing biofuels in 2022 and expanded the trail this summer in Europe to two additional ships, the Symphony of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Apex. The biofuel blends tested were produced by purifying renewable raw materials such as waste oils and fats and combining them with fuel oil to create a more sustainable, cleaner fuel. The biofuel blends tested are accredited by International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC).

The Symphony of the Seas and the Celebrity Apex have both accomplished multiple sailings using biofuel and provided data on the fuel’s capabilities, which will help accelerate Royal Caribbean Group’s plans to continue testing the use of different types of biofuels on upcoming European sailings this fall, the company said, adding it is exploring strategic partnerships with suppliers and ports to ensure the availability of biofuel and infrastructures to advance the maritime energy transition.

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