• Picture on ecoship-pb.com

The Japanese NGO “Peace Boat” is planning to launch its cruise ship “Ecoship”. Powered by wind and solar energy, the aim is to carry out educational and research trips instead of the classic cruise.

The Ecoship by Peace Boat

With the Ecoship, the Japanese NGO Peace Boat wants to launch the most innovative and ecologically friendly cruise ship of our time. Planned since 2014 and presented at the Hamburg ship show SMM in 2018, the Ecoship is being built by the Finnish shipyard Arctech.

Founded in 1983 by Yoshioka Tatsuya, the NGO sees itself as an intercultural organization that promotes human rights and sustainable environmental awareness through education while traveling and experimental learning. In the year of its founding, the first Peace Boat cruise ship set sail on an educational expedition. Today, 6,000 passengers a year travel on the NGO’s ships, calling at ports in 80 different countries.

On its website, Peace Boat describes the Ecoship as “an exhibition hall in ports that allows innovators, companies and educators to showcase their green solutions to a global audience, and welcomes people from all corners of the world to cooperate”. Moreover, conferences and events can be held on board, where the debate on environmental issues and the contribution of solutions will be the main protagonists.  Participants will feel personally empowered and responsible with respect to their personal environmental footprint on board and their awareness of environmental issues will be raised.

The efficiency of the ship

The shape of the Ecoship is inspired by a whale, which improves propulsion efficiency and reduces fuel consumption. In addition, air-lubrication pumps a bed of air bubbles under the bow of the ship, which reduces the frictional resistance between the bow and the water surface. The fuel, which is still needed despite the sails, is to be obtained entirely from renewable raw materials of trustworthy origin.

Ten retractable and extendable sails are installed on the upper deck, which generate up to ten percent of the necessary propulsion power in favorable wind conditions. Retractable energy turbines already generate 300 kW at a wind speed of 12 m/s and cover up to 30 percent of the power supply onboard. The remaining energy requirement is covered by solar panels mounted on the sails and almost all surfaces exposed to sunlight, 6,000 m² of solar panels on the upper deck, and kinetic flooring that converts kinetic energy into electricity.

Rewards for economical passengers

The Ecoship has a total of 750 cabins, which offer space for 2,000 passengers. With a total length of 250 meters, it reaches a top speed of 21 knots. The ship also has a cleaning system for the wastewater, a system for using the waste heat, and an onboard garden, which is to be fertilized with restaurant waste. As a special feature, each guest will receive a smart meter, which measures the personal power consumption. Particularly economical passengers will receive vouchers for onboard purchases.

According to the original plans, the maiden voyage of the Ecoship should end punctually at the start of the Olympic sailing competitions in Japan. We have to wait another year for the sailing competitions. Hopefully, it will not take that long until the maiden voyage…