World’s first hydrogen-powered cruise ship concept unveiled
Norwegian shipping company Northern Xplorer has unveiled what it claims to be the world’s first hydrogen-powered zero-emission cruise ship concept.
As disclosed, the company’s current plan includes a series of 14 ships. The ships will feature clean technologies including fully electric propulsion, battery energy storage, hydrogen fuel cells and auxiliary renewable energy supply (wind and solar power).
Furthermore, the ships will be equipped with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems used to safeguard against pathogen spread while extensive use of recyclable materials will promote circularity.
They will also have LADAR technology to detect marine plastic debris and raise awareness of maritime pollution. All the vessels, which will be able to accommodate up to 300 passengers, will be performance-optimized for energy efficiency and reduced fuel consumption, according to Northern Xplorer.
“Low-impact discovery travel in smaller vessels is infinitely preferable to overcrowded ships and marquee destinations teeming with tourists. Somewhere between ocean and river cruising, it’s for those who want a more intimate on-board experience, to get insights into a new culture up close, and leave with the feeling their holidays have contributed positively to local communities and the planet,” said the company’s founder and CEO Rolf André Sandvik.
The first ships are intended to be operational from 2024/2025.
With this new project, Northern Xplorer aims to meet future zero-emission targets. In Norway specifically, new government regulation coming into force from 2026 will make zero-emissions mandatory in Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord.
“This will mean the end of polluting cruise ships sailing in what will be the world’s first zero-emission marine zones. Northern Xplorer provides the … zero-emission solution with a strong focus on local value creation and empowerment,” Sandvik concluded.