German shipbuilder Neptun Werft has started the construction of AIDA Cruises’ second liquified natural gas (LNG) powered cruise ship AIDAcosma.

To mark the occasion, a keel-laying ceremony was held at the Neptun Werft shipyard in Rostock.

The new cruise ship AIDAcosma will sail from Kiel to the Norwegian fjords and the Baltic Sea from 2021.

AIDA president Felix Eichhorn said: “With AIDAcosma we are consistently continuing our sustainable growth.

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“The keel-laying of our second LNG-powered cruise ship here in Rostock is also an expression of our company’s economic and innovative power in Rostock and throughout northern Germany.”

The 337m-long AIDAcosma will have a load-carrying capacity of 183,900 gross tonnages. The vessel will be able to accommodate 20 decks and 2,600 staterooms.

Other amenities include the Fun Park with children’s pool, a twin water chute, the water slide, 17 restaurants, 23 bars, Theatrium, shops, a disco, a gym area and a spa.

The LNG-powered ship will be designed to reduce the emissions of particulates and sulfur oxides, nitric oxides and carbon dioxide.

AIDA Cruises will invest approximately €2bn for the construction of AIDAcosma and a third LNG-powered cruise ship. The investment will support job creation in ship-building and maritime supply.

AIDA Cruises’ third LNG cruise ship Made in Germany will become operational in 2023.

The global leisure travel company Carnival owns the Germany-based AIDA Cruises.

Recently, the German cruise liner decided to test the fuel cell system on board its newest large cruise ship AIDAnova as part of a plan to support ‘green cruising’.

In August, AIDA Cruises signed a contract with Corvus Energy to install lithium-ion battery storage systems on board its ships to reduce fossil fuel use and emissions without having an adverse impact on ship performance.