Despite some innovation in the cruise and yachting industry, most vessels remain distinctly unfriendly to the environment. However, a recently-unveiled design for a solar-powered yacht could begin to change that.
The Solar Impact was unveiled earlier this month at the Cannes Yachting Festival. The solar power has an unlimited range – in the right, sunny conditions of course – meaning it has the capacity to sail around the world. With yachting mainly being popular in warm, bright climates, it’s likely it should produce all the energy it needs.
All the systems on board can use the sun as their primary energy source, leading the manufacturers to call the vessel “almost self-sufficient”. It has the added benefit of being more quiet during journeys as well, while still reaching a speed of over 20 knots.
As the yacht is designed for long stints on the water, the company also stresses the importance of comfortable interiors. With large windows giving guests great views and lots of light, and a system run by artificial intelligence, it aims to combine the cosy with the technologically-advanced.
The makers also employed a hull technology which helps the yacht remain still in the water; even in strong waves it can reduce rolling and heeling by up to 90%. As well as being more comfortable, it can prevent your less sea-worthy guests become seasick.
The Solar Impact is not the only option for the super-rich who want to keep their eco-friendly credentials. A similar yacht called the Solar Wave launched in 2016 and proved more popular than expected. However, there are plenty of hybrid options around which reduce your carbon footprint, although experts agree that a yachting holiday will never be your most sustainable vacation option.
Prices and a release date for the Solar Impact yacht have yet to be announced. You can find more information online.