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Passenger Ship Technology

Carnival Horizon: the differing factors compared to Carnival Vista

Wed 31 Jan 2018 by Rebecca Moore

<i>Carnival Horizon</i>: the differing factors compared to <i>Carnival Vista</i>
The welding of the box with a coin during the launching ceremony of Carnival Horizon

From its hull shape and coating to the lifts, Carnival Horizon has been made as energy efficient as possible. Rebecca Moore spoke to its shipbuilder Fincantieri

New cruise ship Carnival Horizon shares many of the same features as first-in-class Carnival Vista but it has two key elements that distinguish it from its sister.

Carnival Cruise Lines’ 133,500 gt Vista-class ship, which is being built by Fincantieri, is due for delivery in March this year. The focus on energy efficiency found in sister ship Carnival Vista – delivered in 2016 – has been even further boosted on Carnival Horizon.

An example is how the passenger lifts, manufactured by Schindler, are managed. This is a key distinguishing element from the first-in-class ship, as software is used to decrease energy consumption and increase the lifts’ efficiency. Not only is the system new to the Vista class, but it is the first time that it has been used on a ship.

This is significant, as Fincantieri project manager for the ship, Marco Lunardi, told Passenger Ship Technology. “We paid a lot of attention to the efficiency and environmental aspects of the lifts,” he said. “Passengers will spend less time waiting for the lift and the traffic is managed in a more efficient way to reduce energy consumption of the lifts.”

This has been achieved by collecting destination information from passengers before they enter the lifts via a touch screen. This advance information is processed by software created especially for the lifts that combines all the passenger selection information and optimise lift availability according to the requests. Mr Lunardi said that this gave an average reduction of 30% waiting time at peak times.

The other main difference between Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista relates to hull coatings – the former uses Hempel’s silicone hull coating, which uses a combination of hydrogel and silicone technology to combat fouling. A hydro gel micro layer prevents fouling organisms firmly adhering while the silicone polymers facilitate self-cleaning. This allows a longer period between drydocki, Mr Lunardi said, because silicone paint can last more than five years.

Carnival Vista uses a “traditional” Hempel self-polishing antifouling tin-free coating. The principle on which the traditional self-polishing antifouling paint works is chemical, while the silicone one is mechanical, which means that it is a more environmentally friendly process.

A new hull

Apart from these aspects, Carnival Horizon shares technical innovations with Carnival Vista. One aspect that Mr Lunardi particularly drew attention to was the Vista-class hull. “It was very challenging to find the right hull lines,” he explained. The main reason for this was the hull had to optimised for two design points: its service speed of 18 knots and a maximum speed of 22.6 knots.

Mr Lunardi continued “This was really challenging in terms of testing and finding the right shape of the bulb and involved an external consultancy to help with knowledge.”

Extensive use of CFD calculations and in-tank model testing were deployed. “We fine-tuned the solution through several adjustments. We had to make sure that the hull lines met both service speed and maximum seed, so we needed to find the right compromise between different configurations.”

This led to a “different” and “new” hull shape compared to the rest of Carnival Cruise Lines’ fleet. In order to optimise it to meet the speed range, the bulb is more narrow than usual, compared with the usual cruise ship bulb.

An engine configuration was chosen to benefit the hull optimisation on Carnival Horizon. It consists of five MAN Diesel & Turbo engines, with two engines providing 16.8 MW of power each plus three smaller engines rated at 9.6 MW each. The two engines are type 14V48/60CR and the three are type 8L48/60CR. They are placed in the aft third of the vessel.

“They are the right size to manage the vessel in different conditions and can be used separately or in combination,” said Mr Lunardi, adding that this arrangement adds redundancy and allows the operator to meet safe return to port requirements.

Boosting energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is boosted by a steam turbine that recovers energy from the exhaust gas boilers, which would otherwise be lost. It is placed between the engines and generates 1.35 MW of power for use wherever needed, such as to boost hotel power. Fincantieri created and built the steam turbine, which has previously only been used on Vista-class ships within Carnival Cruise Lines’ fleet.

Propulsion is diesel-electric and ABB’s Azipod units are used, each absorbing 16.5 MW, bypassing the need for a propeller shaft. “They make it much easier to manoeuvre in bad weather and in windy conditions because using pods means that there is more efficient control,” Mr Lunardi said.

Another benefit is that there is more space inside the ship because the Azipods’ electric motors are not inside the ship.

Three scrubbers are used, with two for the two big engines and one allocated to one of the three smaller engines. They were developed by Ecospray Technologies and there were some challenges to overcome when it came to installing them, Mr Lunardi said. “The design of the scrubber was developed at the same time as the design of the vessel [and] the big challenge was to find a feasible coordination in a very narrow space,” he said.

“The technical solution was fine-tuned but there were a lot of adjustments and we created a dedicated team especially to work with Carnival on the scrubber.”

Particular attention was paid to the advanced wastewater treatment system (supplied by Scanship), which collects and treats grey and black water.

Fancoils and LED lighting are used throughout Carnival Horizon in order to save energy.

Like its sister ship, there is an emphasis on entertainment. To this end, features include an Imax 3D cinema and a brewery with onboard craft beer production. An impressive 63% of cabins are fitted with balconies.

Carnival Horizon particulars

Gross register: 133,500 gt

Length: 323 m

Moulded Breath: 37.20 m

Design draught: 8.25 m

Maximum air draught: 61.75 m

Passenger cabins: 1,987

Crew cabins: 761

Class society: Lloyd’s Register


Main equipment suppliers

Ship coatings


Water fog system


Lifeboats and technical boats




Lifts and escalators


Window washing system

Navalimpianti – Cofri

Public areas – carpet turnkey sub-contractor


Public areas – stairs turnkey sub-contractor


Public areas – atrium and stores turnkey sub-contractor


Public areas – theatre, Lanai deck turnkey sub-contractor

Spencer Contract

Public areas – restaurants and spa turnkey sub-contractor  


Public areas – casinos turnkey sub-contractor

Marine Interiors

Public areas – IMAX cinema turnkey sub-contractor

Tino Sana

Cabins and corridors turnkey sub-contractor

Marine Interiors



Fin stabilisers

Fincantieri DSC

Main diesel engines

MAN Diesel & Turbo

Emergency generator engine

Compagnia Generale Trattori (Caterpillar)

Reverse osmosis desalinator

Case Marine

Propulsion system pod


Storage batteries technical specification


Ship digital communication network


Automation system and TLV

Wärtsilä A.P.S.S.

Radio systems

Telemar (equipment Sailor)

Navigation systems

Wärtsilä A.P.S.S.

Snapshot CV Marco Lunardi

Fincantieri Merchant Ships Business Unit vice president project manager Marco Lunardi is currently managing the construction of Carnival Horizon and Carnival Panorama that are currently being built in Marghera shipyard.

As project manager he also worked on the construction and delivery of Carnival Vista, flagship of Carnival Cruise Line, which was built in Monfalcone shipyard. Previously he has worked on Carnival Breeze and on Le Boreal and L’Austral, luxury ships for Ponant, a French cruise ship operator.

He joined Fincantieri in 2000 and, previous to being appointed project manager, he worked as planner and financial controller and deputy project manager for the building of Carnival Group ships.

Mr Lunardi holds a degree in management engineering from the University of Padova, Italy.



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