How Virgin Voyages is working to be the cleanest fleet at sea

Virgin Voyages is on a mission to make the world a better place in everything they do.

“We are committed to having one of the cleanest fleets at sea,” Tom McAlpin, Virgin Voyages’ President and CEO said. “Which is why we are committed to creating the right partnerships to help make our ships as ocean-friendly as possible.”

One of the partnerships that Virgin Voyages has formed is with Sweden-based Climeon, aiming to majorly reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by converting the heat from the ship’s engines into electricity. One Climeon unit can produce enough energy to power 250 normal households and each Virgin Voyages ship will have six units, giving it the potential to power about 1,500 households. This will provide not only power for the cabins and suites but also the onboard restaurants, casino and other venues.

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Virgin Voyages has also teamed up with Norwegian company Scanship, a company known for their leadership in purifying wastewater. Scanship uses game-changing technology called microwave assisted pyrolysis (MAP) to convert organic waste into clean energy.

“We are thrilled with the prospect of working with Virgin Voyages,” Henrik Badin, CEO of Scanship, said. “Their vision for environmental sustainability fits well with our ambitions to convert wate to clean energy and to eliminate pollution to sea.”

As well as converting waste and heat into power, Virgin Voyages is also looking to minimise waste on board. The impact of single use plastic has been well-publicised in recent months in part thanks to Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Plant documentary. A recent LA Times editorial estimates that “if we don’t cut back now, there will eventually be more plastic than fish in the ocean.” In response, Virgin Voyages has committed to vastly decreasing plastic usage and increasing reusable and recyclable materials on all of their ships.

If operated like traditional ships, Virgin Voyages’ vessels would each generate 300 tons of disposable plastic per year. They are aiming to reduce that amount of plastic by at least 50 per cent and divert remaining plastics to recycling.

This means that they’ll be eliminating single use plastics across a range of products that their customers will use, including plastic straws, water bottles, stirrers, condiment packs and other unnecessary food packaging. They plan to provide everyone onboard with reusable drink bottles and will offer complimentary still and sparkling water throughout the ship in an effort to help everyone wave goodbye to plastic water bottles.

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