Eco-friendly cruise ships to be powered by sails

While the cruise industry is currently in a stalemate, a French shipyard is planning to construct cruise ships topped by striking 80 meter “eco-friendly” paneled sails, made of fiberglass and carbon.

The Solid Sail concept would reduce cruise emissions by up to 50%, according to the shipyard.

The company’s General Manager said the team had pinpointed sails as an eco-friendly cruising solution. However, cruise ships need large sails, which the team found tricky to construct with existing technology and fabrics. So the shipyard decided something new and different was required.

The shipyard’s resulting design resembles “an accordion,” with folding panels that make up a sailing rig to be used in tandem with an engine and propellers — so it’s not totally reliant on strong winds.

The sail’s mast can also rotate and tilt, which the shipyard says will allow cruise ships to sail under bridges — including those lining the Panama Canal.

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