Global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Group announced today plans to launch the cruise industry’s first ship powered by a combination of hydrogen fuel cells and liquified natural gas, and containing a bank of batteries to support the fuel cell system. The ships will be launched under the Group’s luxury brand Silversea Cruises in 2023.

Royal Caribbean’s new class of ships, known as “Project Evolution”, utilize the hydrogen fuel cell system to supplement the main power supply and carry the ship’s total hotel load, and the battery system will enable the optimization of the overall power system, enabling fuel savings. The technologies will enable a 40% overall reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions per double occupancy, compared to the previous class of ships, and will allow for emissions-free power while the ships are at port.

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Richard Fain, Chairman, and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group, said:

“Silversea’s newest ship class is a significant leap forward in our commitment to sustainable ship design and our journey to reduce our environmental footprint. We first announced our fuel cell ambitions several years ago. Through dedication and perseverance, we are now proud to introduce the first ship with large-scale fuel cell technology capable of achieving emission-free port operations.”

According to the company, the new class of ships will also include a newly developed Micro Auto Gasification System that reduces onboard waste volume, resulting in lower incineration emissions, as well as a design that takes into account the carbon footprint of ship construction, creating a path to an overall reduction of emissions.

Roberto Martinoli, President and CEO, Silversea Cruises, said:

“Being at the forefront of sustainable shipping design and innovation is a testament to our team’s drive for continuous improvement. These advancements support our desire to showcase the world to our guests and to do so in a mindful and environmentally responsible way.”