The Royal Caribbean Group is making significant progress in adding shore power to its ships, said Lotfi Trabelsi, director of EMEA, speaking at the MedCruise General Assembly in Burgas, Bulgaria, this past October.
He said the Royal Caribbean brand has shore power ready on eight ships and has plans for six more and is evaluating the rest of the fleet. Celebrity’s fleet has six ships with shore power and plans to add it on three more.
“As of 2020, anything that came from the shipyards came with a shore power connection, and the ships that came before that we have started retrofitting,” he said, noting that ships built between 2015 and 2020 were delivered with the footprint for shore power plugs.
“I was amazed how the shell door was done in a day to accommodate that,” Trabelsi noted. “Then there are the ships that had the infrastructure but were missing switchboards that needed to be added, and that could only be done during drydock.”
Retrofits are determined by deployment, he noted, with the company considering where shore power is both required and/or available.
The bigger challenge is the older ships that just don’t have the space for the system, Trabelsi explained.
“A lot of work has to be done and really requires a longer drydock. It has been challenging, but we are working to overcome it and prioritize it based on where the ships are going.”
The company’s ships have plugged in so far in the U.S., Canada and Northern Europe.
“Last summer we had four ships in Northern Europe and they all connected to shore power,” said Trabelsi.
“One of the positive aspects from the ship’s side is that once you connect to shore power, engineers can work on the maintenance of the generators, and they can do a lot of things with the machinery while it is cold. Therefore, this is very beneficial for the ships and the ports.”