Ponant unveils pioneering design for its next-gen cruise ship, aiming to achieve zero CO2 equivalent emissions


Ponant looks to launch a 181-metre/594-foot sailing vessel with approximately 100 staterooms to be delivered by 2030. In its talks with yards, the company is considering two sail propulsion systems, Ayro Oceanwings and Solid Sail, both French designs.

The Swap2Zero concept, developed by Ponant’s research and development team, combines six technologies, a catalyst for new energy solutions for itself and the broader industry.

‘By 2030, our future ship aims to have zero greenhouse gas emissions when sailing, manoeuvring, in port or at anchor. Her carbon footprint will be reduced throughout her lifecycle. Renewable energy supplied by the wind and sun will be combined with low-carbon non-fossil energy associated with fuel cells,’ Ponant CEO Hervé Gastinel said.

Noting that Ponant is a company of sailors ‘focused on exploration and innovation,’ Gastinel said: ‘This is much more than a new ship. We want to offer a new mode of navigation and actively contribute to decarbonisation of the maritime sector. Our in-house R&D team has brought together the best specialists in shipbuilding and renewable energy to imagine and develop an energy model that aims at zero emissions. With Swap2Zero, we are building a French technological showcase to convince other stakeholders to commit to carbon neutral navigation.”

Swap2Zero’s six major decarbonisation technology building blocks include a sail power system and hull providing an average 50% of the propulsion energy using the force of the wind.

There will be more than 1,000 square metres of photovoltaic panels with new generation organic solar eco-designed devices integrated into the structures and sails. A low temperature fuel cell will operate on liquid hydrogen for propulsion, with the water and heat produced being recycled.

A high temperature fuel cell will meet the ship’s hotel load requirements, with the heat emitted being recovered and used to produce hot water. On-board carbon capture technology will be coupled with the high temperature fuel cell.

An innovative bespoke energy management system will control and distribute power without any generators being in service.

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