Design Firm Unveils Futuristic Catamaran Cruise Ship

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A Norwegian architectural firm unveiled a blueprint for a sleek-looking, wind-powered catamaran cruise ship. The futuristic design of the vessel, called Seabreeze, features retractable platforms that would bring cruisers closer to the water when conditions permit.

Vessel Is Intended For Premium Market Cruisers

Norway-based YSA Design has left its mark on several existing cruise ships since it was involved in designing some of the spaces onboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Prima and on Holland America Line ships. But now the company has revealed a design for an eco-friendly catamaran that has capacity for 200 guests and 155 crew.

Called Seabreeze, the cat is a sail-powered vessel with a draft of just 4 meters (13 feet), meaning it can access very shallow waters. Two hulls provide stability for the ship, which is designed with a length of 104.5 meters (340 feet).

The blueprint envisions four 50-meter (164 feet) high foldable sails on bases that are 6 meters (20 feet) high, enabling the sails to catch enough wind to power the ship’s transit. Hotel services would be powered by bio-methanol, a climate-friendly fuel that can be produced from renewable energies.

As envisioned by YSA Design, two hulls, each at 18.2 meters (60 feet) wide, would house four decks. Both hulls would feature retractable platforms, aft and midship, that can be extended to the water while the ship is anchored. 

“Sea lounges” on the platforms could be used for watersports areas, spa spaces, dining venues, and other purposes, with the idea that guests can “reclaim the sea.”

Sustainability is critical but cruise shipping also needs to continuously reinvent itself,said Trond Sigurdsen, Senior Architect and Partner at YSA Design.

Seabreeze Concept Vessel
Seabreeze Concept Vessel (Render Credit: YSA Design)

A sustainable ship which brings environmentally conscious guests closer to the sea and reaches destinations others cannot is a clear opportunity at the premium end of the cruise market,Sigurdsen added.

The design also features a transparent bay structure in between the two hulls that can be used as a kind of water viewing area, where, for instance, guests would be able to see a shipwreck or a coral reef.

With wind as its primary source of power, Seabreeze would be a quiet vessel under sail.

Seabreeze also aligns closely with contemporary thinking on destination-based cruising, where a ship gliding in under sail would not disturb wildlife and would be a welcome visitor anywhere. A 21st century wind-powered ship could even drive revival in communities which suffered with the demise of sail,said Sigurdsen.

Limited Number of Existing Ships Are Wind-Powered 

A handful of cruise lines already operate wind-powered ships, such as Star Clippers, Sea Cloud Cruises, and Windstar Cruises.

Star Clippers operates the 220-guest Royal Clipper and the smaller Star Clipper and Star Flyer, both with capacity for 170 guests. Royal Clipper is a five-masted ship with 50,000 square feet of sails that enable the ship to sail almost entirely by wind power in many cases.

Royal Clipper Sailing Cruise Ship
Royal Clipper Sailing Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: whitehoune)

Read Also: I Spent Seven Days on a Sailing Cruise Ship in the Caribbean

Sea Cloud Cruises has three windjammer ships, the 64-guest Sea Cloud, the 136-guest Sea Cloud Spirit, and the 94-guest Sea Cloud II. Guests on these ships can help set the sails. At Windstar Cruises, some ships have sails, but they are partly ornamental and do not enable the ship to sail on wind power only.

YSA Design is not alone in looking ahead to new kinds of cruise ship designs. The Meyer Werft shipyard recently unveiled its 2024 vision for the future of cruise ship design, called Origin, which features an innovative slide-out lounge. In 2023, the group rolled out the design for a ship called Reverse, with an aerodynamic shape inspired by a rockhopper penguin. 

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