Meyer Turku, Finnish Govt to work on climate-neutral ships with RCL

The Finnish government, represented by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (MEAE) and Meyer Turku Oy, has signed a deal with the US-based cruise major Royal Caribbean Group on sustainable shipbuilding in Finland.

Icon of the Seas; Image by Royal Caribbean

The parties signed a maritime declaration that lays the groundwork for the creation of a roadmap for the production of climate-neutral ships in Finland. The roadmap is part of the maritime industry’s green transition.

The declaration also paves the way for strengthening innovation between Meyer Turku, and Royal Caribbean Group including piloting and testing new technologies on Royal Caribbean Group ships. The document also outlines steps for a digital demonstration of a climate-neutral ship as part of the sustainable maritime industry development program of the Ministry of Labor and Economy.

The two sides also will work on supporting networking to curb economic challenges, develop new solutions, and secure the long-term viability of the maritime industry.

The partnership also advances Royal Caribbean Group’s Destination Net Zero strategy to decarbonize its operations by 2050 and its near- and medium-term targets, including reducing carbon intensity by double digits by 2025 compared to 2019 and the introduction of a net-zero cruise ship by 2035. 

The declaration comes on the heels of another major milestone for Royal Caribbean, the floating out of the Icon of the Seas ahead of its January 2024 debut.

Icon of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s first ship that runs on liquefied natural gas and utilizes fuel cell technology. The vessel will also feature shore power connections and waste heat recovery systems. The Finnish shipbuilder started construction on the Icon of the Seas in June 2021.

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“The Finnish maritime ecosystem is built on the innovativeness, expertise and skills of the thousands of leading shipbuilders at Meyer Turku, and Icon of the Seas is the latest example of what can be built here in Finland,” said Mika Lintilä, Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs. “This new declaration will secure a future in which the maritime industry continues to make strides in our decarbonization goals and economic growth priorities for years to come.”

The company also has agreements with the shipyard to build the unnamed second and third ships in the Icon Class for its Royal Caribbean International brand, and Mein Schiff 7, which is currently under construction for the company’s TUI Cruises brand.

“While expertise and interdisciplinary collaboration will always be key to the success of shipbuilding, we recognize the need to continuously evolve and create strategies to reduce carbon emissions toward net zero,” said Tim Meyer, CEO, Meyer Turku Oy.

“This commitment will set us up, as an industry, to innovate and adapt in how we design, build and operate ships. This challenge presents significant opportunities for the Finnish maritime industry to take the lead globally and bring to market new technologies and products.”