As she entered the Hamburg, Germany, harbor on February 9, 2010, AIDA Cruises’s newest addition to the fleet, AIDAblu sailed right past the Caterpillar Marine Power Systems headquarters on the historic Elbe River. The AIDAblu represents the fourth ship in a series of seven AIDA club ships powered by MaK engines. The 827-ft Sphinx-class series cruise ship has a passenger capacity of 2,192 over 14 decks.
These 4x MaK 9 M 43 C engines in a diesel-electric configuration will provide 36,000 kW (48,960 bhp) for both main propulsion and electric power to the main switchboard. Innovative design of the MaK engines ensure quiet and smooth running to minimize disturbing vibrations and visible smoke for passengers. The engines were developed and manufactured by Caterpillar Motoren GmbH & Co KG and project management was in the hands of specialists from Caterpillar Marine Power Systems in Hamburg and Kiel. German-based Cat dealer Zeppelin Power Systems was responsible for taking the engines into operation and will also cater to future engine service.
Since 2007, Caterpillar Marine Power Systems has powered each of the recent AIDA Cruises newbuilds – AIDAdiva, AIDAbella, AIDAluna, and now the AIDAblu. The original plan from AIDA Cruises was a series of four Sphinx series cruise ships built at Meyer Werft and powered by MaK engines. However, in late 2007, the decision was made to extend the series to six ships built delivered between 2007 and 2012.
The success of the AIDA cruise liners has become the foundation for numerous cruise projects powered by the remarkable M 43 C MaK engines with companies including Holland American Line (HAL), Costa Crociere, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Cunard.