The new luxury ship that takes cruising closer to zero-carbon

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silversea nova class cruising ship zero-carbon
silversea nova class cruising ship zero-carbon

In just over 18 months we will be able to sail to chic Mediterranean ports aboard a ship that is spearheading the quest for sustainable propulsion. Silver Nova will not only come with ample bragging rights in the luxe stakes, below decks the hi-tech revolution will be the envy of the cruise industry.

Modern cruise ships are among the most technologically advanced means of transportation, now Silversea Cruises is pushing the boundaries to enhance energy efficiency as well as improving waste treatment and water management.

Silversea’s Nova Class ships are a significant step towards a zero-carbon future, which is the ultimate goal of the cruise industry. The company’s commitment to the environment is far from greenwashing, through the development of sustainable fuels and alternative propulsion systems, Silversea have become torchbearers in technical innovation. While several expedition-style cruise lines have come up with eco-friendly technologies, Silversea is at the forefront with the concept of a triple hybrid fuel system.

The hydrogen-based fuel cell system is the first large-scale fuel-cell installation in the cruise industry. The byproducts from the fuel cells are only water, heat and lower levels of CO2. Evolution Class ships will use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as their main fuel, this will be augmented by a bank of batteries to optimise the overall ship power system and fuel saving. These three pillars of sustainability will allow the ship to achieve a 40 per cent overall reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions. As a result of this new technology, Silver Nova will achieve a cruise industry first – local emission-free operation in port.

st tropez port french riveria - Getty
st tropez port french riveria - Getty

Other sustainable features on Silver Nova, and her sister-ship which is scheduled to be introduced in summer 2024, include a micro auto gasification system which reduces onboard waste volume resulting in lower incineration emissions. Shore power will allow the ship to shut down its main generators at select ports and plug into the onshore energy supply, thereby cutting onboard local emissions to zero. Overall, the groundbreaking hydrodynamic ship design and innovative technology help lessen the ship’s carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

It speaks volumes that the cost of each Silversea Nova Class ships is $200 million more than building a similar-size ship. This includes technical adaptability for the vessels to be upgraded when the next generation of sustainable options such as hydrogen-based fuels become viable.

With their high-style quotient and small-ship intimacy, Silversea Cruises have aspired to new echelons of luxury ever since their first ship was launched in 1994. The 728-guest Silver Nova will enhance this tradition and boast the highest space-to-guest ratio in the fleet – an undisputed yardstick of excellence.

Setting sail on her inaugural season in 15 July 2023, Silver Nova will head to the French and Italian Rivieras, the Iberian Peninsula and the Dalmatian coast. This cutting-edge new ship can switch to battery power when it docks at smaller, exclusive ports and flaunt its positive impact on our planet.

Always the visionary, Silversea is conscious of how important decarbonisation is to today’s passengers as well as tomorrows. They have also demonstrated there’s no trade-off between luxury and sustainability.

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