Carnival Cruise Lines has announced plans to upgrade the operating safety of its vessels.
A new US$300 million project will focus on improving the cruise line’s emergency power capabilities and fire safety technology, following the fire and subsequent power failure that hit the Carnival Triumph in February.
“All of Carnival Cruise Lines’ ships operate safely today. Each vessel already has effective systems in place to prevent, detect and respond to emergency situations, and we meet or exceed all regulatory requirements,” said Gerry Cahill, president & CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines. “However, by applying lessons learned through our fleet-wide operational review after the Carnival Triumph fire and by taking advantage of new technologies, we have identified areas for enhancement across our operations.”
The Carnival Triumph fire left the ship adrift for several days, with passengers reported to be lacking basic resources such as food and water. As a result, the company said it planned to enhance the provision of “hotel services” on its vessels, such as cooking facilities, food storage, internet and telephone connections, in instances of loss of power. An additional emergency generator will also be installed on each of Carnival’s 24 vessels to provide power to all staterooms, public toilets and elevators, as well as ensuring fresh water supplies.
The company will also roll out new fire safety systems to all its ships, including new high-pressure sprinklers. Finally, Carnival will make modifications to reduce the likelihood of its ships losing propulsion or primary power, which the company said would entail “a reconfiguration of certain engine-related electrical components”.
“The investments announced today for Carnival Cruise Lines, and those we will continue to make, will reinforce our ability to consistently deliver the customer experience that 10 million people every year have come to expect from us across our fleet of 101 ships. Absolutely nothing is more important than the safety and comfort of our guests and crew, and we will use the full resources of our company to meet that commitment,” said Micky Arison, chairman & CEO of Carnival Corporation.
The safety upgrades will take place during the next several months, with enhancements being tailored to each vessel. Carnival Triumph remains out of service following the February fire.