Ponant commits to building zero-emission cruise ship by 2030

The concept from the line’s research and development team will combine six new technologies

Ponant commits to building zero-emission cruise ship by 2030


The Swap2Zero ship will feature a sail power system

By Alex Smith |

Ponant has committed to building a zero-emission cruise ship by 2030, following a concept created by its research and development team that combines six new technologies.

The cruise line will collaborate with naval architects Stirling Design International on the Swap2Zero, while discussions are ongoing to select a shipyard to construct the ship.

“By 2030, our future ship aims to have zero greenhouse gas emissions when sailing, manoeuvring, in port or at anchor,” said Hervé Gastinel, CEO of Ponant. “Its carbon footprint will be reduced throughout its life cycle. Renewable energy supplied by the wind and sun will be combined with low-carbon non-fossil energy associated with fuel cells.”

The ship will offer around 100 staterooms and be 181 metres long. It will feature a sail power system and hull which will provide an average of 50 per cent of the propulsion energy using wind, with two sail propulsion systems currently under consideration as part of the tender process. Solar panels will also spread over a surface area of 1,000-square-metres on the ship, while new generation solar devices will be integrated into the structures and sails.

A low-temperature fuel cell operating on liquid hydrogen will provide further energy for propulsion, with the water and heat produced being recycled. A high-temperature fuel cell, on the other hand, will meet the ship’s hotel load requirements, with the heat emitted being recovered and used to produce hot water. Onboard carbon capture technology will be coupled with the high-temperature fuel cell, while a bespoke energy management system to control and distribute power without any generators being in a power.

The Swap2Zero ship will also host researchers involved in decarbonisation technologies as part of the Ponant Science programme.

“Ponant is a company of sailors focused on exploration and innovation, and it is this pioneering spirit that is inspiring the whole Swap2Zero programme,” said Gastinel. “This is much more than a new ship. We want to offer a new mode of navigation and actively contribute to decarbonisation of the maritime sector. Our inhouse research and development team has brought together the best specialists in shipbuilding and renewable energy to imagine and develop an energy model that aims at zero emissions.  With Swap2Zero, we are building a French technological showcase to convince other stakeholders to commit to carbon neutral navigation”.

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