NYSE-listed Royal Caribbean Group’s ultra-luxury brand Silversea Cruises is set to launch the cruise industry’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.
The new class of ships, known as ‘Project Evolution,’ will operate using a trio of power sources including a fuel cell system, battery technology and dual fuel engines using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the main fuel. This hybrid solution, using fuel cell technology, allows the ship to be free of local emissions while at port — another industry first.
The new hybrid technology not only helps in port, but also allows Project Evolution to achieve a 40% overall reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions per double occupancy when compared to the brand’s previous class of ships. The ship class is also projected to achieve an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) rating approximately 25% better than applicable International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements.
“We first announced our fuel cell ambitions several years ago. Through dedication and perseverance, we are now proud to introduce the first ship with large-scale fuel cell technology capable of achieving emission-free port operations” said Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group.
Project Evolution’s full suite of initiatives, developed in partnership with Germany’s Meyer Werft Shipyard, will bring energy efficiency to a new level and will include both first-of-its-kind initiatives and successful features previously introduced such as:
Fuel Cell System – this hydrogen-based technology will supplement the main power supply and carry the ship’s total hotel load — up to four megawatts — the first large-scale fuel-cell installation at sea in the cruise industry.
LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) – a cleaner burning fuel, LNG-fueled propulsion systems emit less CO2 and 97% fewer particulates than normal fuel oil used on ships.
Battery – a bank of batteries supports optimizing the overall ship power system, saving fuel.
Waste to Energy – newly developed Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS) reduces onboard waste volume, resulting in lower incineration emissions.
Progress to Carbon Neutral Construction – in partnership with Meyer Werft Shipyard, Project Evolution is thoughtfully designed and built taking into consideration the carbon footprint of ship construction and creating a path to overall reduction.
Royal Caribbean Group is one of the leading cruise companies in the world with a global fleet of 60 ships traveling to more than 800 destinations around the world. Royal Caribbean Group is the owner and operator of three award-winning cruise brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises, and it is also a 50% owner of a joint venture that operates TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Together, the brands have an additional 13 ships on order as of June 30, 2021.