Anyone who’s ever seen cruise ships idling in port whilst belching black smoke into pristine Alaskan or Caribbean skies will appreciate this good news: the new Carnival Spirit
will be out fitted with the industry’s first-ever smokeless diesel engines. The ship, due to launch in late spring, will initially sail a series of itineraries in Hawaii, the Panama Canal and Alaska.
Maybe this means Carnival won’t have to shut down the Spirit in Juneau; a few months ago, Alaska’s governor announced that ships would be required to turn off engines while in port.
Regardless, the new smokeless diesel engines -- which will comprise just two of Spirit’s six -- are part of a diesel-electric propulsion system that was developed in conjunction with Wärtsila Corporation, the Finnish marine power systems supplier. The two Wärtsilä 46 EnviroEngines use a common rail fuel injection system which enables injection pressures to be kept sufficiently high at all engine speeds - even at the lowest levels - to ensure clean combustion with no visible smoke emissions.
Carnival says that the new, environmentally-friendly engine will be used for other vessels in its fleet as well as in sister cruise lines like Holland America
. In addition, it plans at some undetermined point to refit some ships’ existing engines by replacing the current fuel injection pumps with common rail components.