Creating an Envrionmentally Sustainable Cruise Ship Concept for Wärtsilä

The independent propulsion unit group hard at work.Our workshop with Wärtsilä was organized on board the Vision of the Seas while cruising between Salvador de Bahia and Rio de Janeiro. The main idea was to find a concept for an environmentally sustainable cruise ship for the year 2020. In keeping with the Aalto spirit, there were three aspects to consider: the technologies used, design and implemantation of the technologies and the business side of things.

On the first day the group divided into two to select the main technologies and key features for the concepts. After the first idea generating session both groups had many interesting and wild ideas. The ideas were actually so interesting and novel that it was considered better to keep the two initial concepts separated and continue working on both. On the following day, the groups continued refining their concepts and presented them to each other, after which there was a lot of great discussion about the concepts and ideas. Unfortunately there was only limited time and we had to move on with the other activities onboard.

It was great to see how eleven students with almost no experience on ship design or technology managed to come up with such innovative ideas. The groups were helped and consulted by three staff members from Aalto’s Department of Naval Architecture and one naval architecture student. One concept concentrated more on energy efficiency utilizing gas-power, extended use of natural lightning, waste burning etc – an environmentally sustainable eco-ship. The other group went completely out of the box with an idea of creating a modular, independent and easily upgradable propulsion system: the ship’s main engines (as well as a good number of sails) would be located in a separate ship which would tow the main cruise ship. This would allow the engines and power generation technologies to be updated as green technologies advance, while keeping the downtime of the main cruise ship to a minimum.

Everyone enjoyed the workshop and the spirit among the workshoppers was positive throughout the process. Now it’s just a matter of drawing last sketches and crystallizing everything to a two great packages. We’ll describe the concepts better later on, so stay tuned!

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