A new ship from Celebrity Cruises, currently about 80% complete, is being built with eco-friendly technology and design in ever phase of construction. Personally, I find cruises to be one of the most wasteful and benign ways to travel — but they’re not going away, and this development is welcome.
The company actually designed the hull of the ship first — a radical departure from conventional cruise ship construction where things are generally created “top down,” with passenger space configured first, then the hull constructed to fit that space. As a result, the hull is one of the most fuel-efficient possible and the rest of the ship was configured to work around it.
There will also be 80 solar panels on board to power small things such as elevators. The company acknowledges that solar is not currently a cost-effective addition, but add that as prices decrease, the infrastructure will be in place on board to carry more photovoltaics. The hope is that over time, the ship will utilize more clean energy in its consumption.
Besides efficient LED lights throughout, the company also partnered with 3M to create a window coating that will deflect the heat that comes in, reducing the amount of air conditioning needed to cool the ship. In another very interesting green strategy, the buffets will use chilled river rocks — which maintain low temperatures well — in place of ice. This will decrease the amount of water needed for each cruise — as well as the energy required to turn it into ice. Cool, right?
It’s a step in the right direction and something I’m glad to see the cruise industry embracing.