Eco-Tourism Vessel Design

With the recent surge in eco-tourism and expedition travel, the cruise industry has ushered in a new type of consumer that represents a monumental shift from the stereotypical cruiser. The new demographic seeks to explore parts of the world that have remained relatively untouched, embracing the exquisite beauty of their natural surroundings without disturbing its habitat and with minimal carbon footprint. While doing so, they wish to gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the natural world around them.

To cater to this new type of consumer, in the fall of 2020, KNUD E. HANSEN showcased its latest design achievement: a 144-m Arctic expedition cruise vessel with a capacity of 300 passengers and a range of 8,100 nautical mi. The design features a dual-fuel propulsion plant with a large lithium-ion battery bank and twin podded propulsion. This arrangement produces zero emissions while moored in some of the world’s most environmentally sensitive and hard-to-reach destinations.

KNUD E. HANSEN has since expanded on this design by introducing a unique, interactive space on the vessel that seeks to bring nature inside the ship by offering passengers the opportunity to acquire a greater knowledge of their natural surroundings. The space comprises two decks at the forward end of the vessel, with the lower deck featuring a collection of artifacts and exhibits, multiple displays and informative touchscreens, a library, as well as interactive equipment including microscopes and a virtual reality experience.

There is also a wraparound bar on centerline and lounge areas with comfortable seating throughout the space. Oversized porthole windows on both sides provide plenty of natural light while allowing passengers to enjoy magnificent views. Up forward is a convertible lecture hall with a stage and removable partitions to allow for integration with the exhibit space.

Between the two decks is a large opening and stairwell on either side that creates a cavernous atrium, providing a bright, spacious feel typically found only on larger vessels. The upper deck includes a smaller bar, science exhibits, lounge seating, as well as full height, wraparound windows on the side and forward end of the superstructure to allow for stunning, panoramic views. The space is outfitted with an ultramodern décor that includes sustainable, natural wood finishes, adjustable LED lighting, and dimmable smart windows for optimal energy conservation.

This design has been developed completely in house by naval architects, marine engineers and designers at KNUD E. HANSEN.

Learn more here.

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