Shell will supply the fuel for a pair of new LNG-powered vessels, Carnival Corp. announced this week.

The agreement between Carnival and Shell Western LNG calls for Shell to initially supply Carnival's AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises brands with fuel for two new LNG-powered ships expected to launch in 2019. AIDA caters to the German market, while Costa is based in Italy and, according to Carnival, is Europe's largest cruise line based on guests carried and passenger capacity.

The new vessels are being built by Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany, to Carnival’s “green cruising” ship design, intended to increase energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. LNG will be used to generate 100% of the ships’ power, both in port and while underway. They will use Shell’s infrastructure in cruise ports to refuel throughout their itineraries.

"We are committed to reducing our air emissions and improving air quality by evaluating new and established solutions such as LNG — an especially promising option because of its environmental and other benefits," said Tom Strang, senior vice president of maritime affairs for Carnival. "We are proud to be on the forefront of advancing LNG as a fuel source for the cruise industry and creating an entirely new model for powering next-generation cruise ships. We look forward to a productive partnership with Shell, which has the experience and shared commitment to quality, safety and operational efficiency needed to help us bring this innovative LNG initiative to life with the first fully LNG-powered ships in the global cruise industry."

The agreement builds on an existing partnership between Carnival's AIDA Cruises brand and Shell established in April to supply the AIDAprima with LNG to power the vessel while docked. In September, Carnival announced the order of three more LNG-powered ships. In total, the company has seven fully LNG-powered vessels on order for four of its 10 global cruise lines. Two of the new LNG-powered ships are designated for North America’s Carnival Cruise Line, with delivery dates expected in 2020 and 2022, and one is designated for P&O Cruises UK with an expected delivery date in 2020. The remaining two vessels will also be built for the Costa Cruises and AIDA and are expected to enter service in 2021.

As part of the framework agreement, Carnival and Shell have the opportunity to partner together on supplying marine LNG fuel to future LNG-powered vessels or additional itineraries. The agreement enables each Carnival brand to negotiate individual LNG supply contracts with Shell as new LNG-powered cruise ships begin to launch in coming years.