Carnival Cruise Lines' first ship fueled by liquid natural
gas, debuting in 2020, will also be the line's first vessel with a hull painted
a color other than white, giving it a look that separates it from the rest of
The 180,000-gross-ton ship, designated the XL for now, will
sport navy blue on its bow, a color which then tapers as it moves toward the
back of the ship to become a thin stripe over the waterline. The blue is
bordered by thin red and white stripes.
"What it does, in a way, it gives forward movement even
when the ship is not moving," said Petu Kummala, director of interior
design and architecture at Carnival Corp. "It kind of gives the hull and
the whole ship a yacht-like feel. It makes it look less bulky."
While other brands have plunged into painted hulls, Carnival
has until now stayed plain.
"We've never had any art or anything like that on the
hull. This kind of marks a new era for us," Kummala said.
One reason for the shake-up is to highlight the fact that
the 5,200-passenger XL will be Carnival's biggest ship ever, a third larger
than the Carnival Horizon and more than two and a half times the size of the
It will also be the first cruise ship operating in North
America to burn natural gas, which pollutes less than petroleum distillates.
Kummala said several looks were proposed by Bluarch
Architects, part of the team of designers for the XL. The final design picks up
the red in Carnival's traditional color palette and the blue from its officer
"This emerged as a clear winner," Kummala said.
It also ties in with Carnival's marketing slogan that
pitches it as "America's Cruise Line." Carnival has adopted that
label because it has more domestic homeports than other lines, because it
generally doesn't send ships to homeport abroad and because it has focused
recently on attracting veterans.
"There were a lot of reasons why we liked it,"
Kummala said of the color scheme.
Art on the water
Other cruise lines have employed hull colors to help brand
their ships. Norwegian Cruise Line hires artists to paint thematic art on its
hulls. Royal Caribbean International's Oasis-class ships have baby blue hulls,
while Cunard ships have black hulls and Holland America Line ships sport dark
One potential drawback to a dark hull is that it absorbs
more heat than a lighter-color hull, requiring more energy to keep cool.
Kummala said this was discussed and that the painted area is not large enough
to have an impact.
Carnival isn't making any other design changes concurrent
with the new hull livery and is keeping the iconic winged funnel with its red,
white and blue pattern.
"It's obviously a very distinctive and very
recognizable funnel," Kummala said.
However, as Carnival ships get larger, the funnel stays
about the same, so it looks proportionately smaller on new ships, he said.
The new paint scheme will be applied to the first XL ship
before any decisions are made on whether to expand it to the rest of the class.
There are no plans to change the colors on older Carnival ships, Kummala said.