Greg Mortimer out cruising, photo by Peter Szyszka.

Enabling cruise ships to run emission-free for 12 hours

In order to comply with regulations, as well as to minimise environmental impact, cruise operators will need new technical solutions. The ULSTEIN ZED power system allows cruise operators to visit vulnerable and protected areas without greenhouse gas emissions and local pollution.
01 November 2019

From Venice to the Norwegian fjords, regulators around the world have begun to limit the access of cruise ships to protect vulnerable areas. The initiatives are part of a broader drive to contain the impact of tourism on local communities and ecosystems.

Zero-emission cruises

Ulstein is developing a comprehensive power solution which will allow large cruise ships to run emission-free for a full day.

The solution, ULSTEIN ZED, will have to be adapted to individual ships, but will nonetheless have a core of common denominators. These include powerful batteries, energy recovery, specialised heating and ventilation, solar panels, hot water storage, and automation and cloud services.

Ulstein Zed Heat Pump System Set Up

ULSTEIN ZED is primarily a solution for newbuilds, but some of its components can also be retrofitted onto existing vessels. All the technology is currently commercially viable and available.

Alongside the technical solution, zero-emission operations will require careful planning and organisation on the part of the onboard crew. Ulstein will assist cruise operators with operational guidelines to ensure optimal usability.

Concrete benefits

ULSTEIN ZED allows cruise ships to visit vulnerable and protected areas without emissions and negative impacts on local ecosystems.

ULSTEIN ZED is not only useful for one-day missions to vulnerable areas. Once batteries and power management are installed on a vessel, systematic use can lead to a significant reduction in fuel consumption on a general basis.

Market potential

The global cruise market has had a 6.6 per cent annual growth of passengers every year from 1990 to 2020. With growing concerns about visits to vulnerable areas, the importance of zero-emission operations will only become more important for these passengers.

Ulstein Group is a large group of shipbuilding, ship design and supporting companies. It is one of Norway's largest shipbuilders and was originally founded in 1917.

At a glance

  • Zero-emission technology for new cruise ships
  • Allows operators to visit vulnerable areas without environmental impact
  • Can also reduce fuel consumption for general operations


Soon available: There are concrete plans to make the solution commercially available in the near future.

A Geiranger view, this Norwegian UNESCO fjord is much visited by cruise vessels.


Industry, innovation and infrastructure: ULSTEIN ZED helps the tourism industry to operate with lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Life below water: ULSTEIN ZED helps to reduce the negative impact of cruise ships on local marine ecosystems.

Article from The Explorer

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Ann Katrin Barstad

Manager Design
Ulstein Design & Solutions AS

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Ann Katrin Barstad DSC4298 comp bw

Ann Katrin Barstad

Manager Design

Ulstein Design & Solutions AS