ABB has secured contracts to supply three systems for newbuilding expedition cruise ships.
The first contract covers two 170 m long ships due delivery to Seabourn from T. Mariotti, in June, 2021 and May, 2022, respectively.
ABB will supply the power and propulsion technology for the 23,000 gt ships that integrates the main generators, switchboard, convertors, bow thruster motors and the remote control system in a single package, plus twin 6 MW patented Azipod propulsion units.
Built to Polar Code 6 hull specifications, the 264-passengerx capacity vessels have been designed for the ultra-luxury polar expedition market. By fitting Azipod propulsion systems, this frees up space on board, allowing the vessels to carry additional craft, such as kayaks, rubber boats and a pair of submarines.
“The selection of ABB’s Azipod propulsion was a natural decision for Seabourn because, in conjunction with our PC6 ice strengthened hull, they will provide excellent manoeuvrability and operational control in the polar and other regions around the globe,” said Rick Meadows, president of Seabourn. “Azipod propulsion also means lower levels of vibration, which is a major plus for guest comfort. As a UNESCO World Heritage cruise partner, Seabourn also values the fact that Azipod units enable sustainable operations.”
The second major order covers power, automation, propulsion and digital systems for the second cruise ship to be built for Lindblad Expeditions by Ulstein.
She will be built by the Norwegian yard Ulstein Verft to an Ulstein Design & Solutions design and will be a sistership to ‘National Geographic Endurance’, whose construction is underway. The latest ship will have capacity for 126 pax in 69 luxury guest cabins. She vessel will join the Lindblad fleet in late third quarter of 2021.
These ships feature Ice Class PC5 Category A, and are designed to meet all regulations for navigation in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
ABB will deliver a full power, distribution, control and automation package for the ship, integrated in the ABB AbilityTM System 800xA, as well as twin 3.5 MW electric Azipod DO propulsors.
“We are delighted to continue our work with ABB on this second highly innovative polar ship,” said Nikolaos Doulis, Senior Vice President, New Buildings, Lindblad Expeditions. “Passenger safety and comfort are paramount for any cruise operator, so it is critical that our suppliers can demonstrate proven reliability and offer continuous support via ship-shore connectivity, especially as ships venture to more remote locations and ice conditions.”
“We continuously refine our range of automation, propulsion and digital systems for specific market segments,” said Juha Koskela, Managing Director of ABB Marine & Ports (pictured). “We are delighted to be working with Lindblad once more to deliver the ship manoeuvrability and comfort in ice conditions made possible by the Azipod DO solution, but also the full scope of ABB’s electric, digital and connected vision offering. ABB’s support in real time is especially compelling in polar waters.”
Azipod propulsors have become the preferred solution for expedition ships in challenging conditions. To date, more than 20 ABB’s Azipod propulsion units have been specified for exploration cruise ships.
All of the vessels systems will be connected to ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Centres, which monitors the performance of the company’s technology on board and remotely connects operators with ABB experts – particularly important for ships operating in remote areas.
In addition to minimising the risk of incidents, ABB has estimated that owners using remote diagnostics and predictive maintenance services through its seven land-based centres can reduce the cost of repairs and maintenance by up to 50%, while on-site attendance by technical personnel can be cut by as much as 70%.