Royal Caribbean Group’s ultra-luxury brand Silversea Cruises is set to launch the world’s first hybrid-powered cruise ship in the summer of 2023. This will also be the first ship with large-scale fuel cell technology to enable emission-free port operations. The fuel cells will provide 100% of power while at port.
“Silversea’s newest ship class is a significant leap forward in our commitment to sustainable ship design and our journey to reduce our environmental footprint,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean.
This new class of ships, known as Project Evolution, will be driven by a trio of sustainable power sources, including a fuel cell system, battery technology and dual fuel engines using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the main fuel.
The fuel cell system, a hydrogen-based technology, will supplement the main power supply and carry the ship’s total hotel load, up to four megawatts. Further, a bank of batteries supports optimizing the overall ship power system, saving fuel.
Meanwhile, LNG is a cleaner burning fuel, with the LNG-fueled propulsion systems emitting less CO2 and 97% fewer particulates than normal fuel oil used on ships.
“Incorporating fuel cells into our ships now is one example of how Royal Caribbean Group is preparing to use new technologies as we move to a non-carbon-based future,” Fain added.
The use of new hybrid technology allows Project Evolution to achieve a 40-percent overall reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions per double occupancy while comparing to the brand’s previous class of ships.
Project Evolution’s full suite of initiatives, developed in partnership with Meyer Werft Shipyard, will bring energy efficiency to a new level and will include some first-of-its-kind initiatives.
The company also noted that the ship class is also projected to achieve an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) rating of about 25 percent better than applicable International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements.
Royal Caribbean Group is already known for a robust portfolio of technologies enhancing energy efficiency, waste treatment, and water management. The Group’s overall decarbonization journey will continue to evolve as and when alternative, non-carbon-based solutions become available.