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Innovative Silver Nova Cruise Ship Reaches the Sea

Silver Nova conveyance
Cruise ship making the 20 mile trip from the building yard to the sea (Meyer Werft)

Published Jun 9, 2023 11:36 AM by The Maritime Executive

Meyer Werft completed the conveyance of the Silver Nova at the beginning of the week as the innovative new cruise ship prepares for its maiden voyage in August. The closely watched ship will be introducing a series of new technologies which the shipyard and owner highlight as the next steps in the development of environmentally friendly operations.

The trip along the Ems from the building yard in Papenburg, Germany commenced early on June 5. It involved moving the ship approximately 20 miles along the river guided by tugs fore and aft to the North Sea. The cruise ship berthed in Eemshaven in the Netherlands where Meyer reports the first technical and sea trials will be undertaken. 

The cruise ship features a hybrid power plant designed to advance the level of environmental performance. According to Silversea Cruises, the ship is expected to achieve an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) rating of approximately 25 percent better than the applicable International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards. The Silver Nova is expected to achieve a 40 percent overall reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions per cabin compared to Silverseas’ previous class of cruise ships, the Muse class built by Fincantieri.

The Silver Nova will be Royal Caribbean Group’s first LNG-fueled cruise ship, joining Carnival Corporation, Disney Cruise Line, and MSC Cruises as well as niche operators Havila and Ponant, all of which have introduced LNG-fueled ships. Previously, most of the LNG-fueled ships have been the largest cruise ships with Silver Nova being the first in the mid-sized ultra-luxury category to make the fuel transition. The Silver Nova is 801 feet in length and will be approximately 54,700 gross tons.

 

 

Jan Meyer, Managing Director of Meyer Werft discussing the cruise ship and its design predicted, “The Nova class will set new standards on the way to net zero emissions cruising.”

In addition to the LNG plant, the cruise ship is designed to operate emission-free in ports, turning off its main generators. It is outfitted with a 4-megawatt fuel cell system as well as batteries. When it is not using shore power, the fuel cells and batteries are designed to supply enough electricity in port to power the hotel operations. The battery system also increases overall efficiency by absorbing peak loads while the ship is underway. 

The ship uses a hydrodynamic design to enhance operating efficiency. Among the other technologies being deployed on the ship is a newly developed Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS) which converts waste into thermal energy.

 

 

The conveyance is the latest step in the construction process for the cruise ship which was ordered by Royal Caribbean Group in October 2018 as part of what it called the “Evolution Class.” Meyer was contracted to build two cruise ships with the first steel cut happening on November 18, 2021. The Silver Nova was floated out of the building hall on April 28, 2023.

In addition to the new technologies, the Silver Nova is designed to be one of the most luxurious cruise ships in service. It will have the cruise line’s highest passenger space ratio at 75 gross tons per passenger. It offers all-suite accommodations for 728 passengers and has a crew of 556 giving it a high ratio of 1:1.3 crew-to-passenger.

Construction on the second ship of the class, Silver Ray, began with the symbolic first steel cut on November 23, 2022. The first block, measuring 155 feet by 27 feet and weighing 230 tonnes, was placed in the building dock on March 23, 2023. The ship is scheduled to enter service in the summer of 2024.