Ecoship, a revolutionary new cruise liner set to feature the latest innovations in renewable energy usage, has been designed by specialist naval design and architecture firm Oliver Design, working from Getxo, Spain.
The design was commissioned by Peace Boat, a Japanese NGO nominated for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize and the promoter behind this ambitious project to design and build the high-range eco-friendly cruise ship.
The Spanish firm has been working on the project since 2012 and has now completed the full architectural design of the ship, from the first sketches to the plan with the general layout of the vessel, including details of cabins and public areas, external 3D view, videos and other projection and display features. For this pioneering project, Oliver Design is working in collaboration with a world-class team of experts, including prominent engineers, scientists and thinkers from the fields of eco-technology and shipbuilding. The work is being coordinated by Peace Boat’s project manager, naval engineer Dr. Andrés Molina, who has long experience in the cruise ship sector.
In May, Peace Boat signed an agreement of intent with Finnish shipyard Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc., marking a major milestone in the development of the project. The aim is for the ship to be delivered to the Japanese NGO in time for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The Ecoship will be an ocean liner with a GRT (gross register tonnage) of 60,000 metric tons, capable of housing 2,000 passengers in 750 cabins. It will be 250 meters long with a beam of 32 meters and a draft of 8 meters. It will have a maximum speed of 21 knots and a cruising speed of 17 knots.
This project is unique in that it signals the first time that the advanced energy technologies on board will be incorporated on a large-tonnage ship rather than on experimental vessels, as in previous projects. Sea transport is now one of the leading contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and one of the Ecoship’s aims is to show ship owners and builders that more sustainable vessels are possible.
Design of the Ecoship cruiser includes 10 large retractable elements made up of solar panels, which can operate as large sails in suitable wind conditions. For preliminary design of this distinctive feature, Oliver Design worked with German naval engineer Detlev Loell, who brought his expertise to the project as an internationally renowned expert on classic sailing ships.
The sails can be used for propulsion and at the same time to generate power. The Ecoship is designed to include a total of 6,000 square meters of solar panels with an output of 750 kW.
As well as harnessing renewable energy sources, the ship will have a hybrid engine, capable of being powered by diesel or liquefied natural gas. This will save up to 20 percent in fuel consumption and reduce carbon emissions by up to 40 percent, compared to a similar ship with conventional technology. The Ecoship will also have all the latest advances in waste disposal and architectural design features based on the biophilia concept. Biophilia is a building concept that advocates maximum use of natural elements such as air, light and water, as well as materials and designs based on nature itself.
Oliver Design first made contact with Peace Boat in October 2012 at the International Cruise Summit in Madrid, where Jaime Oliver —founder and CEO of the Spanish firm— first learned of the NGO’s interest in finding a designer for its project. A few weeks later, a whale stranded on a beach in his native Basque Country gave Oliver the inspiration he needed for the first outline sketch.
From this initial idea, Oliver Design developed the preliminary version of the plans for the Ecoship. Yoshioka Tatsuya, founder and director of Peace Boat, subsequently visited Oliver Design's head offices, and an agreement was signed awarding the Spanish company an exclusive commission for the architectural design of the Ecoship.