Hurtigruten Norway has revealed new details on its planned zero-emission cruise ship project "Sea Zero." Concept art by VARD Design Courtesy of Hurtigruten Norway
June 7 (UPI) -- The cruise ship company Hurtigruten Norway has revealed more details about its plans for the world's first zero-emission cruise ship. The ship was first proposed as "Sea Zero" in March 2022.
"Hurtigruten Norway presented its findings alongside its consortium of 12 maritime partners and research institute SINTEF, all joined in the pursuit of achieving emission-free marine travel," the company said in a press release Wednesday.
"When we initially announced the 'Sea Zero' project over a year ago, we were faced with the challenge of not knowing which technologies would be available to us in 2030," said Hurtigruten CEO Hedda Felin.
"Following a rigorous feasibility study, we have pinpointed the most promising technologies for our groundbreaking future cruise ships. We are committed to delivering a ship that surpasses all others in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability within just a few years," Felin said.
According to the company, less than 0.1% of ships worldwide use zero-emission technology, which they hope will give their company an important stake in a more sustainable future.
The planned ship will be electrically charged at ports using a 60-megawatt hour battery system and include features like solar panels and retractable sails to increase energy efficiency.
The company plans to use AI to reduce the size of the crew needed to operate the vessel, the system would also collect data to increase the efficiency of docking.
"The streamlined shape, with its innovative hull and propulsion solutions, not only reduces energy demand but also in increases passenger comfort," said Henrik Burvang of VARD, the company that is designing early visual models of the ship.
The cruise ship industry has been under pressure to reduce the impact on the environment. A 2021 study published in Marine Pollution Bulletin found that cruise ships are a major source of air, water and soil pollution, and that a large cruise ship can have a carbon footprint greater than 12,000 cars.
U.S. cruise ships began switching to burning cleaner liquified natural gas in recent years.
Last year, Barcelona announced a tax on cruise passengers to help clear up toxic emissions from ships docked in the busy Spanish port city.