A brand new gigantic cruise ship, the Costa Smeralda, will call into Palma on Christmas Eve for one of the stops on its maiden voyage around the Mediterranean. This behemoth of the seas – the fifth largest in the world - weighs has a mere 185,000 tons, is 337 meters in length and 42 metres in width and has an incredible 20 decks all named after famous Italian cities and resorts!
A veritable floating palace for up to 6,554 cruise passengers in 2,612 cabins, including 28 suites, it has eleven themed restaurants and bars, a chocolate shop, wine shop, ice cream shop, and a large Samsara spa with thermal pools, steam baths and Finnish sauna, swimming pools, theatre, etc amongst its on board facilities.
In fact, much like all the other gigantic cruise ships which call in at Palma nearly every day of the week in high season, so why am I telling you this? Because this ship is very different as it is powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG,) the cleanest fossil fuel in the world.
The use of LNG makes a remarkable reduction on the environmental impact of 'normal' cruise ships and improves air quality by eliminating sulphur dioxide emissions and reducing those of particles between 95 and 100 percent . It also reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 85 percent and CO2 by 20 percent.
This is so important to many environmental organisations in Mallorca who have complained about the number of cruise ships docking in the port as scientific surveys show that a ship berthed there causes more air pollution than a motorway!
With more and more LNG powered ships being ordered by the cruise companies it won't be long before the environmental damage caused by the big liners is minimised.
The Costa Smeralda will be calling in at Palma every week during its Mediterranean cruise season run by Costa Cruises.