Executives from the cruise industry, its suppliers and destinations concluded their conference in Florida discussing the future of the industry and the challenges ahead. German shipbuilding group Meyer Werft also took the opportunity to speculate about what a cruise ship would look like and function in the next century. The shipyard drew on its recent experience building LNG-powered cruise ships and efforts to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cells to come up with an imaginative idea of the future.
“Externally inspired by the rockhopper penguin and therefore particularly aerodynamic is the ‘Reverse’ concept – a concept by the Meyer Group that shows what a cruise ship could look like in the year 2100,” said the shipyard when unveiling the model and renderings for their vision the future. Externally, the ship is equipped with a closed glass facade and urban gardening areas as well as drone landing pads, and central public areas form the focal point inside the ship. Thanks to a cabin structure that is detached from the outer shell, efficient modular production methods are possible.
“The ship is based on global megatrends and is one – but not the only – logical answer to this,” explains Tim Krug, Head of Concept Development Group at the MEYER Group rather than social meeting places, because we imagine that a large part of the nutrients consumed in concentrated form like pills. From today’s perspective, we sometimes come up with extreme approaches, but it’s just as important to think them through and develop answers from them.”
The power concept for the ship is equally futuristic, with Meyer saying it would focus on innovation that follows current sustainability trends. “Thanks to the use of wave energy through horizontal wings on the fuselage, solar and fuel cells and wind energy, it does not require fossil fuels,” says Meyer.
Following current trends, the model was also built to demonstrate how sustainable materials can be used. The “Reverse” model is largely made of sustainable materials. Meyer said that 90 percent of the materials used are recycled or can be reused without leaving any residue.
The Meyer Group’s imaginative vision of a future cruise ship
However, the imaginative concepts are based on the current work within the shipbuilding group. Beginning in late 2018 with the first large LNG dual-fuel cruise ship, the shipyards have delivered six LNG cruise ships for Carnival Corporation using the Excel platform and the first of three ships for Disney Cruise Line. The last of Carnival Corp. The ship on order is under construction in Germany, while work began this week on the keel-laying of the second of the Disney Cruise ships.
Meyer was also hired by Disney to oversee the remodeling project for the former Global Dream, which was bought incomplete by bankrupt MV Werften. Disney challenged Meyer to convert the cruise ship to be one of the first to run on methanol. Meyer recently spoke about the challenges of not only converting the engines, but also adding tanks and piping, as well as the safety and control systems for methanol, on a cruise ship that is already 80 percent complete. Disney announced this week that the ship, due to be launched in 2025, will be based in Singapore for at least five years.
At the Meyer Turku shipyard, work is in full swing on the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean International’s “Icon of the Seas”. The ship features several innovations, including operation on LNG. Two sister ships will follow her. Turku has also recently started assembly of Mein Schiff 7, the first methanol-powered cruise ship being built for the partnership between TUI Group and Royal Caribbean Group, TUI Cruises.
This summer, Meyer Werft will deliver a new cruise ship for Silversea Cruises, the Silver Nova, which will set new standards in technology and design. Featuring several unique technological innovations and groundbreaking design features, the Silver Nova and her sisterhood Silver Ray which has just started construction, will also include fuel cell systems, which are expected to meet some of the onboard energy needs. After years of research and development by the Meyer Group and the fuel cell manufacturer Freudenberg, there is a growing expectation that every single component of the fuel cell system will successfully pass the strict endurance tests at extreme temperatures and the certification tests of the classification societies for safe use on board ships.
The goal of the multi-year research project is to deploy a maritime fuel cell system on an unprecedented scale that will power the Royal Caribbean Group’s Nova-class ships. After completion, the fuel cell system should cover the entire hotel load on a ship. Other innovative features include a newly developed Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS) that converts onboard waste into thermal energy.
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