What three factors must expedition brands focus on when designing ships?

Expedition cruise lines need to consider enhancing the safety, sustainability and flexibility onboard their ships to help with the growing demand in the industry  

What three factors must expedition brands focus on when designing ships?

KNUD E. HANSEN. Courtesy of Stefan Ittu Hviid and Visit Greenland. Photo by Mads Pihl 

By Guest |

The number of passengers sailing on expedition cruises more than doubled from 2016 to 2022, according to the Cruise Lines International Association’s State of the Cruise Industry 2023 report. With this, the expedition cruise industry should anticipate increasing consumer demands for the safety of navigation, passenger experience and environmental impact. In response, KNUD E.HANSEN is enhancing its designs for passenger expedition vessels, built for 100-400 passengers, to support cruise lines in strengthening their operations. 

To ensure safe navigation in remote and pristine environments, we prioritise the highest level of survivability in our designs, strictly adhering to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Safety of Life at Sea convention that sets out the minimum standard for how ships should be built, equipped and operated to ensure safety. Our explorer cruise vessels are designed with redundant, segregated power and propulsion systems, as well as passenger-safe havens in case of emergencies.  

In addition, notable passenger experience innovations within our designs are helping cruise lines to achieve safe operations. For example, the design of Phoenix World Village, which accommodates up to 400 passengers, integrates the disease prevention/control measures and health facilities needed following the health scares associated with cruising from the Covid-19 pandemic. These facilities include high-efficiency HVAC systems and advanced airborne and surface disinfection technology to ensure the ship is safe and clean.  

To help cruise lines meet the diverse needs of their passengers, we propose equipping vessels with cabins that can be quickly rearranged during port calls to double cabins, family apartments or suites. Our flex-cabin system design can be easily reconfigured between sailings to convert a single, luxury suite into two separate cabins. This allows the operator to maximise revenue based on specific demand.  

Furthermore, most of our ship designs now feature a standard diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system installed with battery packages to support the IMO goal to achieve net-zero emissions by, or around, 2050. The propulsion systems offer several advantages for operators including adaptability for future fuel alternatives, optimisation of fuel consumption, zero emissions in pristine destinations, and silent operations for reduction of underwater noise.  

Finn Wollesen Petersen is managing director at KNUD E. HANSEN  

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2024 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.    

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