More power to the sea!
Cruise ships are enigma. Imagine stories of building housing the best of amenities floating in water… and now imagine these stories powered by batteries. Yes, a cruise ship company has devised a way to let you enjoy the water sails without the guilt of wasting natural resources.
The world’s first cruise ship propelled partially by battery power head out from northern Norway on its maiden voyage. It is operated by Hurtigruten. The hybrid expedition cruise ship, the Roald Amundsen, can take 500 passengers and is designed to sail in harsh climate waters.
Named after the Norwegian explorer who navigated the Northwest Passage in 1903-1906 and was first to reach the South Pole in 1911, the ship will sail the Northwest Passage to Alaska before heading south, reaching Antarctica in October.
While the engines run mainly on marine gasoil, the ship’s battery pack enables it to run solely on batteries for around 45 to 60 minutes under ideal conditions.
The company estimates that the battery pack will reduce fuel consumption and save about 20% in carbon dioxide emissions, compared to if the ship was operating on marine gasoil alone.
Battery technology for propelling ships is in its infancy, even on shorter routes, as few ports provide charging stations. But the operators hope that as cries for climate and fuel conservation get louder, more facilities would come up soon.
Many docked Cruise ships have served as hotels for major sporting events including the FIFA World Cup and The Olympics.