Cruise Ships: Cutting Edge Energy Efficiency


Cruise shipping is one of the fastest growing sectors in tourism, in 2015 attracting approximately 23 million passengers around the world.

cruise ship

The background

Royal Caribbean Cruises is one of the leading cruise companies in the world, constantly designing and building new futuristic ships and partnering with the world’s leading shipyards, engineers, architects and innovative minds.

There is a strong focus on guest experience, safety, energy efficiency and minimizing the impact on the environment.

They have the cutting edge of energy efficiency. Harri Kulovaara, Executive Vice President, Maritime at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., explains that this means minimizing the environmental impact as a direct consequence of reduced fuel consumption,.

Development regarding increasing energy efficiemce in cruise ships has been an on-going effort over the last several years.

Eniram, a leading provider of energy management technology and analytic services to the shipping industry, picked a significant challenge in 2005, when the company decided to start optimizing the energy consumption onboard cruise vessels.  Today, the company optimizes the operations in over 130 large cruise vessels, which is two thirds of the world’s seagoing fleet.


The process begins with collecting a massive amount of data onboard the vessel during normal operation, using over a trillion measurement points. The data is used to build a model –mathematical relationships between the different performance elements onboard.  Eniram also model the relationship between the ship and the sea with all the affecting factors.

Thanks to advanced statistical methods, Eniram brings real-time guidance to onboard engineers and deck officers on how to best trim the vessel, what speed to operate, how much load the engines should have and what route to take.  The guidance is presented in an uncomplicated way on screens with “traffic lights”, a principle developed by Eniram.  Green light means that the system is performing in an optimal way, yellow light gives a ‘heads-up’ about a negative trend in performance and red light indicates the prompt need for action to restore optimal operations.


Since 2009 Eniram has been collaborating with Royal Caribbean in order to further improve the performance of the fleet.  The first trials resulted in fuel savings of 0.6 percent on the test vessel. Royal Caribbean was delighted with the result as the vessel was on one of the best performing in the fleet and no further savings was thought to be possible.

An idea on the savings!

Today, energy management and energy optimization has decreased the fuel consumption by an average of four percent fleet-wide in Royal Caribbean.  This means an annual saving of approximately USD 16 Million in fuel costs and an annual reduction of 35,000 tons of CO2 – equivalent to the emissions of 7,000 cars!

The latest version of Eniram Performance for Cruise vessels is currently operational on two vessels in addition to Quantum of the Seas.  Now, through the enhanced KPI feature, officers, engineers as well as onshore personnel can continually monitor, communicate and discuss the overall performance of a vessel as needed to ensure optimal fuel and energy use.

Way to go:

There is much more to be won. Looking forward, Eniram and Royal Caribbean are confident that based upon the actual collected data and their joint experience so far, an additional 10 per cent savings can be achieved for both new-builds and existing vessels.

The emphasis will be on real-time management of the whole fleet of vessels, enabling a predictive capability for the crew to take measures.

Both Eniram and Royal Caribbean are convinced that the 10 per cent goal in further savings is quite realistic.  A crucial issue is to navigate the vessel in the most efficient way, regarding for example the routes and the service speed.  Under the loop are also the operation of other onboard systems, such as power generation, propulsion, fuel, not to mention the energy consumption of the hotel part and supporting infrastructure of the ship.  Not a stone must be left unturned to run the operations in the most efficient way.

The future approach to energy management is to expand it to cover all areas of operations and utilize the experience when designing new ships.  The development is going towards more and more automated ships with smart sensors and intelligent algorithms monitoring every element of operations and design ensuring that the vessel is operated at its optimal performance in every situation.

On the shore-side, the trend is transparency.  Every vessel will have a dynamic efficiency rating of its own, which could even be made public to drive a change and provide full transparency.  This will enable Eniram to make sure that not only the Royal Caribbean fleet is state-of-the art, but that all cruise vessels and other types of ships are operated as efficiently as possible.

Source: CruiseandFerry