Peace Boat’s target is to build five more cruise ships based on its Ecoship prototype as well as to retrofit its current vessel, its director and founder Yoshioka Tatsuya told Passenger Ship Technology in an exclusive interview.
He said: “It depends on the market, but we think five more ships are necessary and that is our target. One cruise ship is not enough due to the growth in the Asian market and the cruise market in general.”
Peace Boat is hoping to expand on new technologies with its future vessels even more than it is doing with Ecoship: Ecoship will have an LNG diesel propulsion, but Mr Tatsuya said the company hoped to use fuel cell technology and “more efficient” batteries to achieve more energy efficiency and renewable propulsion on the future vessels.
He said that Peace Boat was looking at retrofitting its current cruise ship within three years of building Ecoship. The current vessel has mechanical propulsion, but the company is considering converting to electric propulsion. It is also considering solar panels and wind propulsion.
The Japanese cruise association announced at the start of Nor-Shipping that it had signed a letter of intent with Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc, to construct Ecoship, the world’s most sustainable cruise ship.
Mr Tatsuya explained the reasons behind choosing the Finnish shipbuilding company: that it was an experienced shipyard within passenger shipping, with previous customers including Royal Caribbean International and Carnival.
He said: “I really admire the maritime industry efforts in Scandinavia as they are working so hard to progress green technologies and it is such an eco-friendly society. The culture of Scandinavian society is very suitable for Ecoship.”
There were 10 shipyards in the tendering process, and out of these six were serious contenders.
It is expected that steel will be cut on Ecoship this autumn, and that it will be delivered in spring 2020.