Royal Caribbean Group to Launch First Hybrid-Powered Cruise Ship

Royal Caribbean is launching the first hybrid-powered ship in 2020. The cruise will use an onshore power source and batteries to provide electricity for its three diesel generators, which work as backup when needed. This new technology will mean more efficient cruising with zero emissions during marine operations such as docking and maneuvering near port or navigating difficult ice conditions.

Royal Caribbean Group will be launching the first hybrid-powered cruise ship, which is expected to go into service in 2020. The new ship will have a diesel engine that powers the propulsion system and an electric motor that provides power for the propellers. Read more in detail here: cruise line news.

Royal Caribbean Group and Silversea Cruises will unveil the first hybrid-powered class of ships in the cruise industry in the summer of 2023. The ships will not only be far cleaner to run than anything presently at sea; they will also allow the cruise line to remain emission-free when in port, something no other cruise company has yet accomplished.

Although numerous cruise companies run LNG-powered ships in recent years, Royal Caribbean Group will be the first to combine LNG with hydrogen fuel cells and battery power.

The Royal Caribbean Group is set to launch a first in the industry.

When Project Evolution launches in the summer of 2023, it will be an industry first for the Royal Caribbean Group and Silversea Cruises. The ship will be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell system, battery technology, and dual-fuel engines that run on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). A waste-to-energy system, shore power, and a waste heat recovery system will also be included on the ship.

Silver Spirit Cruise Ship Cut in HalfSilversea Cruises provided this image.

“Silversea’s newest ship class represents a major step forward in our commitment to sustainable ship design and our efforts to decrease our environmental impact,” stated Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain. “Our fuel cell objectives were initially disclosed some years ago. We are now happy to unveil the first ship with large-scale fuel cell technology capable of performing emission-free port operations, thanks to our devotion and determination.”

The Royal Caribbean Group is planning to expand cruise tourism in the US Virgin Islands.

Guests aboard the new generation of ships may relax, knowing that the hybrid technology will result in a 40% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions per double occupancy while at sea, compared to the brand’s previous class of ships. This is in addition to the emissions that are reduced at the port.

“One example of how Royal Caribbean Group is planning to leverage new technologies as we transition to a non-carbon-based future is incorporating fuel cells into our ships today,” Fain stated. “This ground-breaking technique exemplifies our innovative attitude.”

Royal Caribbean intends to raise the bar on sustainability.

The transition to a hybrid system on its ships will not be a one-time event. The Royal Caribbean Group expects the transition to lead to a more sustainable fleet that is less reliant on carbon-based fuels. Silversea Cruises President and CEO Roberto Martinoli is thrilled to be leading the charge:

“Our team’s commitment to continual development has put us at the forefront of sustainable shipping design and innovation.” These developments complement our ambition to show our visitors the globe while being thoughtful and ecologically conscious.”

Royal Caribbean Group Project EvolutionRoyal Caribbean Group provided this image.

Project Evolution’s long-term efforts include a variety of technology improvements that are bringing a more ecologically friendly future of sailing closer. Although the exact number of ships involved in the study is unknown at this time, onboard measurements include:

  • Fuel Cell System As the first large-scale fuel-cell installation at sea in the cruise industry, this hydrogen-based technology will complement the main power supply and handle the ship’s whole hotel load — up to four megawatts.
  • LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) — a cleaner-burning fuel, LNG-fueled propulsion systems emit 97 percent less particulates and emit less CO2 than traditional ship fuel oil.
  • Battery assistance improves the whole ship power system, resulting in fuel savings.
  • The Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS) from Trash to Energy minimizes onboard waste volume, resulting in decreased incineration emissions.
  • Project Evolution is meticulously conceived and produced in collaboration with Meyer Werft Shipyard, taking into account the carbon footprint of ship building and charting a course toward total reduction.

Also read: Royal Caribbean’s First LNG-Powered Icon of the Seas Begins Construction

Hopefully, this move will inspire others in the cruise industry to follow suit. With growing opposition from ports and environmental organizations, the sector must make a shift. The industry is well on its way to responding to the demand to reduce carbon emissions, with the continued deployment of LNG-powered ships and a shift to hydrogen fuel cells and battery power.

Silver Spirit Cruise Ship Cut in Half

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