The new Viking Neptune was delivered to Swiss based Viking on November 10 from Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy, with a fuel cell installation aboard.
Viking Neptune, ninth of this class, marks a quantum leap in the longstanding cooperation between Viking and Fincantieri for designing, delivering and operating environmentally considerate cruise vessels. The two companies, indeed, keep on cooperating on the development of pioneering applications based on hydrogen fuel cells, aiming to achieve an increasing reduction of GHG emissions.
Identical to Viking’s other ocean class ships, the 47,800-ton Viking Neptune embodies the first result of such cooperation, as a hydrogen fuel cell module, with a nominal power of 100 kW, has been fitted on board as a test. Such installation is particularly important for tuning technological devices and developing rules and regulations for use of hydrogen on board a cruise vessel.
“We are especially proud to welcome this newest sister ship to our ocean fleet, as it also marks a significant advancement in testing hydrogen as a future fuel for our vessels,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.
Viking said it will use the small 100 kW system as a test to determine how hydrogen fuel could be used on a larger scale in future new builds.
The two companies will then develop a hydrogen-based generation system with a total power of about 6-7 megawatts (MW), which would enable zero emissions operations in port and slow steaming navigation. Such systems, once finalized, could be installed on Viking’s vessels currently under construction and retrofitted on certain vessels that have already been delivered, Fincantieri said.
Viking Neptune, which can accommodate 930 passengers in 465 staterooms, will spend its inaugural season sailing itineraries in the Mediterranean before embarking on the company’s 2022-2023 Viking World Cruise, a journey from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to London that spans 138 days, 28 countries and 57 ports, with overnight stays in 11 cities.
“We look forward to welcoming guests on board the Viking Neptune next week,” Hagen said. “She is the 15th new ship we have added to our overall fleet this year, another significant milestone as we continue the celebration of our 25th anniversary.”