Viking Cruises plans the world’s first hydrogen-powered cruise ship

Viking Cruises plans the world’s first hydrogen-powered cruise ship
Viking Cruises may model the hydrogen-powered cruise ship on its ocean vessels, including Viking Star (Image: Viking Cruises)

Viking Cruises is working on a project to build what could become the world’s first cruise ship to be fuelled entirely by zero-emission liquid hydrogen.

At present, liquid hydrogen is not produced on a large scale in Europe and is not currently used as marine fuel due to the challenges of maintaining it at -253 degrees to avoid evaporation. However, Viking Cruises is working with Statoil to find a solution based on a Norwegian refinery. It is likely that a fuel cell will be used to convert the hydrogen to electricity for propulsion and electric power onboard.

Viking Cruises plans to use Norway-based suppliers for the project where possible and use several tender ships to carry the fuel to the cruise ship.

“This is a world sensation – very exciting,” said Olav Akselsen, director general of shipping and navigation at the Norwegian Maritime Authority. “If they pull this off, a distribution network may be established, which will enable others as well to use hydrogen as fuel, and could contribute to a zero-emission shipping industry.”

The liquid hydrogen-fuelled ship will be based on the same design as Viking Cruises’ new ocean vessels, and will be around 230 metres long. The ship will accommodate more than 900 passengers and 500 crew members.

“At Viking, we have always endeavoured to look forward and to be at the forefront with regard to green shipping,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises. “As a Norwegian and with Norwegian ships, we want to lead the way to zero-emission ships through fuel cell technology. The road to that point is still long, but here at Viking we want to be ahead of the game.”

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