It would seem difficult to associate ecology and eco-sustainability with the world of cruising. Fortunately, however, real change is in the air. In fact, in recent years the goal of several cruise lines is to make sea journeys more sustainable.

Of course, this is not just a matter of implementing a few measures, such as banning the use of plastic on board. But it is about creating green port infrastructure, using alternative fuels and using advanced sustainable technologies.

So let's discover what are the cruise ships that have already taken these measures, which are the 5 greenest ships in the world.

1.The Norwegian company Hurtigruten

Among the most environmentally sustainable ships are certainly the ships of the Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten. The company has already eliminated heavy fuel oil (HFO) for more than a decade and uses alternative and greener fuels such as marine diesel oil and biofuels.

In addition, in 2019 Hurtigruten unveiled the first electric battery hybrid cruise ship, and by 2030 the goal will be to build the world's first zero-emission cruise ship.

One of the ships of the Norwegian cruise line company Hurtigruten

One of the ships of the Norwegian cruise line company Hurtigruten

2. The cruise ship Le Commandant Charcot

Le Commandant Charcot is the cruise ship designed for exploring remote destinations. Built with a low-emission hybrid electric engine, it is part of the French company Ponant.

It is the first ever cruise ship with ice-breaking and electric hybrid technology with dual propulsion, high-capacity batteries and LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) storage on board.

With Le Commandant Charcot, it is now possible to reach the Geographic North Pole (90°C North latitude) or other remote places in the Southern Hemisphere, such as: the Bellings-hausen Sea located off the western part of the Antarctic Peninsula, Peter Island, and Ross Sea Bay.

By 2025, French shipping company Ponant plans to introduce a completely carbon-neutral cruise ship. All of its ships have long since banned single-use plastic on board, and it is the first line to achieve the Green Marine certification.

3. Peace Boat's Ecoship Project

The Ecoship cruise is among the greenest ships in the world. It is a real green marvel created by the Peace Boat company, a company that has been promoting a culture of peace and cooperation among people at sea since 1983.

In addition to the use of hybrid engines, this ship uses wind turbines and retractable photovoltaic sails.

Thanks to a closed water recovery system, the ship will not discharge any sewage into the sea. A real revolution, considering that the average cruise ship generates 80,000 litres of sewage a day.

Finally, the company has designed a set of vertical farming that will, in part, meet the food demand on board.

4.Star Clipper's Tall Ships

Sometimes eco-sustainability is not only about infrastructure but also about the ability to reuse and innovate old vessels.

Such is the case with the Monaco-based luxury company Star Clippers, which reuses old, restored sailing ships powered exclusively by wind power.

These beautiful ships are often docked at the port of Civitavecchia, so you are very likely to see them.

The Star Clippers fleet includes three tall ships carrying a maximum of 227 passengers.

The Royal Clipper, one of the world's largest sailing ships - Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0 - Sailing972

The Royal Clipper, one of the world's largest sailing ships - Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0 - Sailing972

5. Havila Capella, by Havila Voyages

Finally, among the most eco-friendly ships in the world is the Havila Capella from the Norwegian shipping company Havila Voyages. This ship sails through the Norwegian fjords.

It won the Next Generation Ship Award 2022 for the most significant advances in design in relation to environmental sustainability and the use of innovative technologies.

The Havila Capella is a plug-in hybrid cruise ship, meaning it can cruise with zero emissions for 4 hours without generating noise. This is made possible by the installation of large battery packs.

In addition, the ship is powered by biogas and is designed for the future transition to hydrogen.

The Havila Capella has also adopted an energy recovery system, through the water discharge and cooling systems, and the reduction of food waste through the possibility of enjoying "a la carte" meals, instead of the buffet option. In this way they cut down on food waste by 15 tons per year!

We only have to hope that more and more shipping companies will adopt eco-sustainable solutions to safeguard the sea.

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