1 EAGLETON NOTES: Hybrid Powered Cruise Ship

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Saturday, 7 March 2020

Hybrid Powered Cruise Ship

Last week MS Fridtjof Nansen arrived in Stornoway. I believe that she was on her maiden voyage. Stornoway is a popular destination for cruise liners and many of them are specialist 'explorer' cruises. By any standards her accommodation looks luxurious. What made her stand out in Stornoway apart from her striking shape and colours was the fact that she is a hybrid ship. 

The residents of Scotland in general, and Scottish Islands in particular, are well used to hearing about hybrid ferry vessels. They were commissioned by Calmac for Island ferry services some years ago and are now running several years late and millions over budget. It may be several years before they are in service and in the meantime the existing fleet is struggling.

Hybrid power is particularly suitable for ferries and, as many operate in densely populated areas (eg Hong Kong) the less (fewer?) the diesel emissions the better. 


The reason that I mentioned her explorer cruises was that on the morning I was having coffee with friends in The Woodlands when we saw a posse of cruisers going up the path past the café with a leader, placard identifier held high. When a second group went past we realised that this placard business was for real and was obviously so that the groups (of 20 or so) wouldn't get lost amongst the hordes of natives. This was a first for Lewis we believe.


32 comments:

  1. This particular cruise ship recently visited us here in the Isle of Man also and the passengers took part in a Beach Clean exercise whilst here..link..
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-51712782

    A first for us too.

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  2. We don't get any cruises up here, there isn't a wharf or such for them to berth but we did use to get alot when we lived in Mount Maunganui, I wonder if they're still popular given the corona virus.

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    1. Amy, I know that Freemantle is getting a big increase in cruise liners because they are not going to the Far East. I imagine that most people are trying to get out of going on them at the moment.

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  3. Lots more cruise ships coming into Fremantle nowadays as they can't go to Asian ports.

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    1. Hi Margaret. Thanks for visiting. That is such a coincidence. My son is near Sydney at the moment and mentioned exactly what you have just said and I have just made the comment to JayCee above. Perhaps I should read all my comments before commenting myself!

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  4. My, oh, my! That is a huge ferry!!!

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    1. Lee, it's a cruise ship rather than a ferry. She is about 20 metres longer than our ferry to the mainland however she is a lot shorter than the Cook Straight ferries in New Zealand. Of course she has a lot more passenger accommodation etc.

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  5. I have an irrational hatred of those 'Follow me' placards. A good Border Collie would do the job so much better.

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    1. Cro, I've seen them often in places that get lots of tours in populated cities but to use one on Lewis seemed to be the height of absurdity.

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  6. It looks very swish. The Cal Mac ships aren't hybrid but dual fuel so run on gas and diesel. I suspect this cruise ship is a diesel electric like submarines. It looks clean near the coast but pollutes out of sight. Not to worry, what the Gretin can't see she can't nag about.

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    1. Yes, Adrian, she is a battery/diesel hybrid although I'm not sure whether she is also 'plug-in' like some of the ferries. Given her distances I would have thought she was diesel electric like the submarines as you suggested. The ferries we are getting are referred to as hybrid and I have to admit I'd assumed they were diesel electric.

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    2. Graham last I heard they were being converted to LPG. I think they may end up scrapping them and starting again.

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  7. I imagine at hybrid cruise ships will appeal to a specific target group, one with money to spend. Am I being cynical? Possibly, but I really believe it is a good thing to develop means of transport that have less negative impact on the environment.
    I like Cro's suggestion with the border collie!

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    1. Meike, I imagine that anyone going cruising on these boats are people with money to spend as you put it. They look quite luxurious on the website.

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  8. She looks like a very splendid cruiser. The luxury of the on-board accommodation does not appeal to me though. I would rather circumnavigate the globe in a cargo ship.

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    1. Rachel, I am fortunate in being a good sailor but I have never travelled on a cruise ship and the thought appals me. I did go round a '6-star' one docked in Napier. Horesco referens.

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  9. Next thing you know, you will have McDonald's on every corner! Just kidding! (I hope!)

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    1. Kay, that is never going to happen than goodness. There isn't the footfall.

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  10. It is nice to see a cruise ship that allows passengers to disembark.

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    1. That's a very good point, Maywyn. Who knows where the passengers had originally come from to board the vessel?

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  11. It does look funny with the placard, in that environment! I think the only time I've been in a group with a guide holding up a sign like that was on a guided tour in the city of Salzburg in Austria :) (And after the guided tour we were all left to walk around as we pleased until whenever it was we were supposed to meet again back at our bus!)

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    1. Monica, I've seen plenty of guided tours in Italy but I have never been on one.

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    2. That whole trip (back in 1990) was a guided bus tour (from Sweden to Germany and Austria - 10 days) ;) It's only from Salzburg that I remember the guide holding up a sign like that, though, to make sure we wouldn't lose sight of him. My memory of it isn't very clear, it was just something that popped up when I read this post. Most of the group did not speak any German, though, so I think it must still have been our own Swedish guide rather than a local one. (He was the brother of the friend of mine who had suggested the trip to me. Most of the group were pensioners but we were five 'girls' in our 30s who decided to join as well. The main event on the trip was the famous passion play in Oberammergau which only takes place every ten years.)

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    3. Monica, I'd forgotten about the Oberammergau passion play. Quite a few friends made the 'pilgrimage' to see it back in the day.

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  12. That's a nice looking ship - for a giant petri dish. Hybrid powered or not, it doesn't appeal. Anyone who feels they need a giant placard to follow on your beautiful island must have rocks in their head. But I guess if the rule book says use a placard, then it must be used regardless of where and when. Sorry, I'm a bit easily annoyed today. And no, no temperature, no cough or difficulty breathing. And yes, I've washed my hands.

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    1. Pauline, you have made me smile this morning. I needed a smile. I'm just off to the dentist. However that's not the problem. A general message from my medical practice. We can no longer visit the practice without a pre-arranged appointment which has been vetted by medical staff. COVID-19 has managed to get to remote Shetland so I expect it'll arrive here too. Reality is beginning to hit.

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  13. I had to look back through the comments to find out what is meant by a "hybrid" ship. I guess that the cruise passengers had to walk around in groups for safety as everyone knows that the restless natives of Lewis are dangerous ne'er-do-wells - like pirates that now live on shore.

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    1. YP, believe me the natives have down to a fine art the separating out the weakest from the pack and getting them into a shop and relieving them of their cash.

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  14. Nice looking cruise ship a small one compared to those around here. Cruising is not popular at the moment and very good eats being offered.

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    1. Diane, size-wise it's they are not large ships but they are very spacious cabins and quite luxurious and the company concentrates on exploration rather than cruising. Well I think that's the blurb.

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  15. Somehow that photo irresistibly reminded me of the Pied Piper!

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