A new cruise ship is designed to be one of the world’s greenest and most sustainable modes of transportation.
The cruise industry is booming, but cruise ships are not always an eco-friendly form of travel. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average cruise ship generates up to 80,000 litres of sewage a day, and use heavy bunker fuel to power their engines, which can emit dangerous levels of sulphur dioxide. The Ecoship Project aims to change this with a radical new cruise ship design that aims to be the world’s greenest cruise liner. The project is being funded by Peace Boat, a Japanese non-profit organisation that promotes human rights and environmental sustainability through ‘peace voyages’. The Ecoship is being designed by Oliver Design, and is expected to have its maiden voyage in 2020.
Among the Ecoships’ design innovations is a hull inspired by the shape of a whale which is designed to reduce fuel consumption, a bed of air bubbles at the base of the hull to reduce drag, a 6,000 square-meter solar farm, and a garden that uses recycled garbage and wastewater. Propulsion will be by means of a hybrid engine that uses bio-fuels, including fuel generated from kitchen waste, and the ship will also carry retractable wind generators and photovoltaic sails. The heating and air-conditioning will be augmented by recycling the ship’s waste energy, reducing the electricity load by 50 percent. The Ecoship will operate on a zero discharge/zero waste basis, and is aiming for an estimated 40 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in comparison to a cruise ship with conventional propulsion.
Ecoship is expected to carry around 5,000 people a year, as well as hosting exhibitions on green technology in ports around the world. It will also be capable of serving as a floating sustainability laboratory, helping in research related to ocean, climate and green marine technology. The ship’s designers have taken an integrated approach in which all elements of the system are designed to complement each other. Sustainability is increasingly being built into all types of transportation, from electric delivery bikes to electric planes. Will the Ecoship demonstrate the feasibility of sustainable sea transportation?