Ponant’s polar expedition cruise ship will feature two Azipod VI propulsion units (Image: Ponant)
ABB is to provide Azipod propulsion units for Ponant’s new ice-class hybrid expedition cruise ship, marking its 100th cruise ship order.
To be built by Norwegian yard Vard Søviknes (a Fincantieri company), Ponant’s polar expedition cruise ship will feature two Azipod VI propulsion units with 6-metre propellers and a combined power of 34 megawatts. This will enable the vessel to take passengers to the Arctic and Antarctic, providing greater manoeuvrability and efficiency, and lowering environmental impact. Azipod propulsion will also improve passenger and crew comfort because it minimises noise and vibration.
“We are delighted that Ponant chose to rely on ABB’s leading expertise both in cruise and ice-going vessel propulsion for its pioneering vessel,” said Juha Koskela, managing director of ABB Marine and Ports. “Azipod units already power more than 80 vessels navigating in icy seas and reaching the 100th cruise ship order highlights ABB’s commitment to a technology with superior performance, reliability, safety and environmental profile.”
ABB secured its first Azipod order from a cruise ship customer in 1995, which led to installations onboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Fantasy-class newbuilds Carnival Elation and Carnival Paradise. An order from Royal Caribbean International arrived in 1997, with three Azipod units installed on Voyager of the Seas.
“At the beginning of the 1990s, we entered the cruise market with a technology offering a 10-15% efficiency gain over conventional shaftline systems and a gearless construction that reduces environmental impact,” said Marcus Högblom, head of the Passenger, Ice and Dry Cargo segment at ABB Marine and Ports. “Since then, the cruise market has been increasingly choosing Azipod propulsion. We estimate that energy savings equivalent to 700,000 tons of fuel have been made in the cruise sector due to the selection of Azipod.”
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