In the continuation of our ‘The Rise and Fall of’ series we are looking at Royal Viking Line. This is probably one of the most loved cruise lines to have ever ceased to exist. The Norwegian Company was based in San Francisco, founded as a partnership of three Norwegian shipping lines the company’s brand name continues to be held in high esteem.
STX looks set to have a bumber Christmas and New Years if everything goes to plan!
All Rivers Lead to the Ocean
Viking River Cruises has ordered two ocean going cruise ships, with the option of a third from STX in France. This is great news for STX workers, who have faced an uncertain future with the yards struggling for work in the recession.
We have touched on the topic of ‘Green’ Cruising in our article on EOSEAS, the concept environmentally friendly cruise ship. See that article here (opens in a new window)
However when we did that article we were unaware that Viking River Cruises, seen here, actually operate two hybrid Diesel Electric river cruise vessels.
These ships, Viking Legend & Viking Prestige, run on diesel-electric propulsion this means that they use 20% less energy than comparative vessels. Which has a significant cost saving over the life of the vessel. Also due to the nature of these engines they vibrate less, offering a significantly quieter and more comfortable vessel. All this means the ship produces 20% fewer emissions. The ship also uses four propellers compared to the conventional two.
Many people argue that to be green you have to save more, and have less, however this diesel-electric propulsion is allowing for reduced energy costs, less emissions and a more comfortable journey.
In the ferry industry, It is our understanding that LNG is being used in the construction of ferries, as a way of saving money on fuel, rather than as a great environmental issue. We actually have very little knowledge about the ferry industry, but if you do know let us know too!
Now all we need is a cruise line to supersize this. Less Vibrations + Higher Profit + Fewer Emissions = Everyone’s a winner (except the fuel companies…they dont win)
We think that this hybrid type of vessel is interesting and the benefits are significant. We hope that more ships like this are built, it could even lead to cruise prices falling by 20%! That would be nice…but somehow doubtful!
This has made us wonder why no major ocean-going cruise line has committed to building a hybrid vessel, when the reduction in fuel usage would surely pay dividends, we can only think that this is because cruise lines the other cruise lines are behind the curve, however as the new Safe Return to Port legislation has meant that there will be lots of new designs, we expect that RCI’s Project Sunshine will incorporate some form of hybrid technology.
Check our blog here, about what we are expecting from Project Sunshine. The cruise industry is likely to wait and see how the commercial ferry operators & Viking River Cruises find operating an alternative fuel source vessel.
Also the lower pollution of these vessels will improve the case for cruising as ‘sustainable tourism’. At Crociere.co.uk we think ‘sustainable tourism’ is set to play an important part in future cruise line practices as the industry grows. We will be developing the concept of sustainable tourism in our next blog. Remember to check our EOSEAS blog & River Cruising Blog to know more about river cruising and green ship technologies!