River cruise lines have definitely become increasingly green in recent
years, having gradually incorporated more fuel-efficient engines, improved
waste management systems, onboard recycling programs, reusable water bottles
and the use of LED lighting.
It's a trend that is not only nice to see, but necessary in order for the
river cruise industry to continue to grow sustainably without leaving an
irreversible footprint on the waterways and destinations their vessels sail
through and to.
But what if there was a way to develop a fully electric, zero emissions
river cruise ship? That would even further reduce river cruising's impact.
It seems like a futuristic fantasy, and yet, Mario Ferreira, founder and CEO
of Portuguese river cruise line Douro Azul, says it's something the company
is planning for 2019.
Ferreira announced his plan earlier this month at Seatrade Europe, where he
set a goal to unveil the first-ever river cruise vessel 100% powered by
electric propulsion in March 2019, according to a Seatrade report.
Ferreira said this was possible due to the fact that battery technology
evolution has resulted in the availability of smaller, more affordable
battery units. The 126-passenger vessel would recharge its batteries while
docked in ports.
Douro Azul confirmed the report but would not reveal any additional details
about the project.