By Published On: 3 Dec 2021

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Construction has begun on Silversea Cruises first hybrid-electric, LNG-powered vessel. The new Nova-class of cruise ship will have unmatched green credentials as well as more space for every guest, but it will also carry more passengers.

The revolutionary vessel named Silver Nova will not only look different, but have a different type of propulsion. In fact, it will be the first hybrid-electric luxury cruise ship free of local emissions when in port. Indeed, governments are under pressure from local communities to introduce tougher emission standards for cruise ships.

“Our Nova class ships represent a significant investment in unprecedented technological solutions. They support our mission to preserve the planet without compromising on comfort or luxury.”

Roberto Martinoli, President and CEO of Silversea Cruises.
Roberto Martinoli at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.
Roberto Martinoli at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.

Green credentials

The powerplant on Silver Nova will use the latest hybrid electric-liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology. It will achieve a 40% overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per double suite when compared to the Muse-class vessels. LNG will be the primary propulsion fuel when at sea, emitting less CO2 and 97% fewer particulates than normal fuel oil used on cruise ships.

What’s more, the new hybrid technology will cut emissions to zero when in port by using fuel cells and batteries. In certain ports Silver Nova will even be able to plug into the local power supply, enabling it to switch off its main generators.

In addition the new hydrodynamic design of Silver Nova will lessen the vessel’s environmental footprint.

Silver Nova, bigger with more guests

At 54,700 tons Silver Nova will be the largest ship in the Silversea fleet. In fact she will be 35% bigger than the Muse-class vessels. Silver Nova will also have a distinctly different appearance when compared to other vessels in the fleet.

Indeed, renderings of the vessel indicate guest accomodation will be configured from bow to stern. Previously, Silversea kept guest accommodation at the front of their cruise ships.

There will be space for 728-guests on Silver Nova. That’s 132 more passengers than Muse-class vessels can accommodate and almost double the capacity of Silver Whisper. However, the cruise line tell us Silver Nova will offer guests more space – a ratio of 75 GRT-per-passenger. Though it’s worth noting this is based on tons per guest rather than actual deck space.

Certainly, the 728-guest Silver Nova could be considered a mid-sized vessel and some might see it as a departure from Silversea’s small ship philosophy.

New ship builders

In another change for Silversea, construction of the Nova-class vessels will take place in Germany at the Meyer Werft shipyard. It is one of the largest and most modern shipyards in the World, and has a long association with Silversea’s parent company Royal Caribbean.

“This day is a very special one for us, as it is the first time that a Silversea ship is being built at our shipyard.”

Bernard Meyer, Managing Director of Meyer Werft.

Silver Nova is schedule for delivery in mid-2023. Itineraries go on sale from 6 January 2022, however, members of the Silversea Venetian Society will get exclusive pre-sale access from 16 December 2021. For more information visit the Silver Nova page on the Silversea website.

About the Author: Jason Kerr

Jason is the founder and Managing Editor of The Luxury Cruise Review. He has a passion for travel, a weakness for espresso coffee and a love of Greek cuisine.

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