7 “World’s First” Vessels Launched In 2018

In the year 2018, the maritime industry saw the launch of some of the most impressive vessels which are also currently the “world’s first” among their types. Let’s take a look at some of the top launches made in the industry this year.

1. World’s First Polar Class Duel Fuel

Desgagnés christened and launched today the M/T Mia Desgagnés, the world’s first polar-class dual-fuel oil/chemical tanker.

M/T Mia Desgagnés

With a deadweight capacity of nearly 15,000 tons and tanks with a capacity exceeding 17,000 m³, the Mia Desgagnés is suitable for transporting refined petroleum products or chemicals. This next-generation, state-of-the-art ship was built at the Besiktas shipyard in Turkey using an original concept and specifications developed by Desgagnés to optimize safety, environmental performance, and operational efficiency.

Read more here about this tanker ship

2. World’s First LNG Powered Cruise Ship

AIDAnova, the world’s first cruise ship that can be powered by low-emission liquefied natural gas (LNG) both at sea and in port, was launched this year.


Two further AIDA ships of this new generation will be built by 2023 – also at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg. The ship features a wellness area of around 3,500 square meters, an outdoor gym, a Penthouse Suite which extends over two decks, single staterooms, 17 restaurants and 23 bars.

Read more about AIDAnova here.

3. World’s First LNGC With Full Re-Liquefaction System

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering launched the world’s first LNG carriers using a full re-liquefaction system that completely re-liquefies the evaporative gas generated from LNG carriers.

Daewoo Shipbuilding

The natural gas re-liquefaction system is a technology that re-liquifies natural gas which naturally vaporizes in the cargo hold during the operation of the LNG carrier and puts it back into the cargo hold.

Read more about ship here.

4. World’s First Zero Emission Vessel 

Tourist ship owner and operator The Fjords took the delivery of a vessel this year that sets new standards for environmentally responsible passenger transport. Future of The Fjords, a42m long carbon fibre 400 PAX all-electric catamaran is the first vessel of its kind to offer completely emission free transport through the beautiful, yet fragile, Western Norwegian landscape.

Zero Emission Vessel 

The NOK 144 million vessel is propelled by two 450kW electric motors, enabling cruising speeds of 16 knots along the spectacular 90 minute each way voyage. In another first, The Fjords has, in partnership with Brødrene Aa, developed a unique charging solution called the Power Dock.

5. World’s First Next Generation LNG Carrier

Diamond Gas Orchid, the world’s first “Sayaringo STaGE” next generation LNG carrier, was delivered to Diamond LNG Shipping, a joint venture between Mitsubishi Corporation and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK). The Diamond Gas Orchid has a continuous steel cover that reduces ship weight and air resistance while increasing LNG-carrying capacity. STaGE, an acronym derived from “Steam Turbine and Gas Engines.

First Next Generation LNG Carrier

The Diamond Gas Orchid features the latest in marine innovation with its optimized transport capacity, fuel efficiency and environmental performance.

Read more about diamond gas orchid here.

6. World’s First Digital Drilling Vessel

In 2018, GE and Noble Corporation plc, launched the Digital RigSM solution and the world’s first digital drilling vessel as we continue to expand data-driven operations support while gaining significant efficiencies in drilling operations.

Digital Drilling Vessel

The Digital Rig solution combines data models from a digital replica of physical assets, known as a digital twin, along with advanced analytics to detect off-standard behavior, providing an early warning to operators to mitigate a problem before it strikes. Thanks to vessel-wide intelligence, personnel both on the vessel or onshore can gain a holistic view of an entire vessel’s health state and the real-time performance of each piece of equipment onboard.

Read more about the first digital drill ship here

7. World’s First Passenger Ship With Rotor Sail

Viking Line has installed a rotor sail on the LNG-fuelled Viking Grace, making it the first passenger ship in the world equipped with a rotor sail for the utilisation of wind power. LR approved the structure and the risk-assessment related to the installation of the sail in line with its Guidance Notes for Flettner Rotor Approval.

First Passenger Ship With Rotor Sail

The approvals were conducted to ensure that the Flettner rotor would not adversely affect the safe operation of the ship or the safety of the crew.

Read more about the world’s first passenger ship with rotor sails

Additional Mentions

World’s First Autonomous & Electric Container Vessel

The world’s first autonomous and electric container vessel is one step closer to launch, as YARA signs a deal with VARD worth approx. NOK 250 million to build the vessel.

Autonomous & Electric Container Vessel

VARD will deliver Yara Birkeland for launch in early 2020, and the vessel will gradually move from manned operation to fully autonomous operation by 2022.

Read more about the future ship here.

World’s First Custom-Built Cruise Ship For Alaska

This year, Norwegian Cruise Line also took delivery of the 168,028-gross-ton Norwegian Bliss, from Meyer Werft in Bremerhaven, Germany.

Norwegian Bliss
Image for representation purpose only


Norwegian Bliss, the third ship in the line’s Breakaway Plus class, the most successful class in the company’s history, is the first cruise ship specifically designed with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruising experience.

Read more about the custom-built cruise ship here.

World’s First Container Ship To Receive LR’s Cyber-Enabled Ship Certification

MV COSCO Shipping Aries, launched this year, is the first ever container ship to receive LR’s Cyber-enabled ship (CES) descriptive note ‘Cyber AL3 SECURE PERFORM’ for its energy management system.


MV COSCO Shipping Aries is the first 20K TEU level ultra large container ship built in Chinese shipyard owned by COSCO Shipping Container Lines. She is not only one of the largest container ships in the world, but also a ship with high cyber functions. We have always attached great importance to cyber enabled fleet in order to enhance fleet management, reduce energy consumption and control emission.

Know more about MV COSCO Shipping Aries here.

World’s First Fully Autonomous Vessel To Sail Across Atlantic Ocean

The Mayflower Autonomous Ship project (MAS) is an innovative new venture to design, build and sail the world’s first fully autonomous vessel across the Atlantic Ocean.

Fully Autonomous Vessel

The planned voyage is set to take place in 2020, to mark the 400th centenary of the original voyage. The project pays tribute to the pioneering spirit of the Pilgrims by embracing a raft of ground breaking technologies encompassing design, propulsion and control.

Read more about the autonomous vessel here.

Over to you..

Do you know any other important ship that was launched and can be added to this list?

Let’s know in the comments below.

Do you have info to share with us ? Suggest a correction

About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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