Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings goes biocide-free with Nippon Paint Marine’s AQUATERRAS


Marine coatings leader Nippon Paint Marine has announced the application of its unique biocide-free self-polishing coating (SPC) AQUATERRAS to Riviera, a luxury cruise ship operated by Oceania Cruises, a subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH).

This application of Nippon Paint Marine’s award-winning AQUATERRAS product follows pre-pandemic testing on NCLH’s vessels. After almost two years of the vessels being exposed to static, pandemic-enforced operation in a fouling rich marine environment, AQUATERRAS demonstrated superb resistance to fouling and marine growth.

The coating was applied to Riviera (66,172 GT) in dry-dock at Chantiers Naval de Marseille. AQUATERRAS was applied to the vertical sides of the ship. The average hull roughness measured after the application of AQUATERRAS was a significantly low 40 microns. This extreme smoothness will provide reduced friction between the hull and the water and will help NCLH to maximize fuel savings and reduce emissions. AQUATERRAS’ excellent biocide free fouling resistance properties will assist in mitigating possible ecological issues arising from biofouling and species migration.

Nippon Paint Marine has been working closely with NCLH for over a decade to provide antifouling systems for cruise ships operating under the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands.

“Due to the impressive performance of AQUATERRAS in testing, we decided to broaden the scope of supply to ships in the Oceania Cruises’ fleet and are exploring additional applications to the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet,” said Carlo Paiella, Senior Vice President, Technical Operations for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “Nippon Paint Marine’s technical service and worldwide supply capabilities complement the excellent performance and sustainability benefits we have seen from the company’s highly effective marine paint coating technology.”

“As leaders in the cruise ship sector, we believe it is vitally important to do all we can to reduce our environmental impact. The use of AQUATERRAS will contribute to our ongoing decarbonization efforts and our commitment to pursue net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

AQUATERRAS is the world’s only biocide free self-polishing coating and is based on a unique micro-domain SPC developed by Nippon Paint Marine. The coating works by using science and materials used in medical anti-thrombogenic polymer technology. Hydrophilic & hydrophobic micro-domain structures actively combine to naturally repel any biological adhesion onto the vessel’s surface. Nippon Paint Marine’s chemists ensured that a constantly active micro-domain structure is always exposed by creating a continuous self-polishing reaction.

“We are proud that Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has selected Nippon Paint Marine as a prime supplier of underwater coatings for their vessels,” said John Drew, Director of Nippon Paint Marine Europe. “As a market leader, NCLH understandably requires highly effective solutions to maximize operational efficiencies, reduce fuel consumption and associated costs, while also achieving its environmental aims.

“The cruise industry has been an early proponent of Nippon Paint Marine’s ground-breaking technology. NCLH is one amongst a group of proactive and forward-thinking cruise lines that recognize AQUATERRAS as a hugely significant breakthrough technology in the antifouling market, providing enhanced levels of performance to those systems containing biocides, such as cuprous oxide.”

Nippon Paint Marine is expected to apply its 100th cruise ship using its various marine coating technologies later this year.