It goes without saying that ultra-luxury cruises need to offer a superior experience for their guests. Silversea’s Silver Dawn epitomises that philosophy, from the pampering of their Otium wellness programme to the quiet and reliable propulsion on board. By ensuring that guests travel from A to B in reliable comfort, Wärtsilä’s diesel-electric propulsion is a key part of the luxurious onboard experience.
Maximise passenger comfort and reliability onboard an ultra-luxury cruise vessel.
Supply and integration of complete diesel-electric propulsion system including diesel generators, electric propulsion motors, frequency converters, propellers and control software. Shore power connection powered by Wärtsilä software.
Quiet, reliable propulsion system that contributes to a luxurious passenger experience while also cutting fuel consumption and emissions.
As you might expect from a vessel catering to the ultra-luxury market, everything about the cruise ship Silver Dawn is premium quality. And that extends to Wärtsilä’s diesel-electric propulsion. “We don’t take any risks when choosing suppliers – they have to offer lifetime reliability for components,” says Tim Lawerentz, Project Engineer at Wärtsilä. This level of quality ensures reliability, which is especially important in the luxury cruise segment, where hundreds of passengers are paying for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
A diesel-electric propulsion system consists of the diesel generators, propulsion motor, frequency converter, controller and propeller. Wärtsilä designs its electric propulsion system according to the power station principle, which means that under normal conditions all alternators feed a common busbar system. The main propulsion drives, thruster and other drives, as well as the mains consumers, are connected directly or via transformers to this busbar.
In addition to lowering noise and vibration levels, diesel-electric propulsion also reduces maintenance expenses and spare parts demand compared with mechanically driven ships. This is due to the reduced number of diesel motors and the ability to operate the motors at a constant speed. There is also no need for a gearbox.
In addition to lowering noise and vibration levels, diesel-electric propulsion also reduces maintenance expenses and spare parts demand compared with mechanically driven ships.
Wärtsilä works as the integrator for its diesel-electric system, combining components from different partners into a seamless solution controlled by Wärtsilä software. “We have top specialists designing software for the cruise segment who know the needs of our customers and the marine market,” says Lawerentz.
The Silver Dawn also has a shore power connection, which uses Wärtsilä software. When in port the connection provides the vessel with a secure supply of electrical power from the local grid, eliminating exhaust emissions and noise pollution. This improvement in the vessel’s environmental performance is additional to the reduced emissions from using diesel-electric propulsion, which enables optimisation of the diesel generators to reduce consumption of fuel and emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and soot.
A major challenge for this project was the COVID-19 pandemic, which struck Europe when the components for the system were scheduled to be delivered in the first quarter of 2020. In this case, the deliveries were successfully made according to the expected schedule and, with safety precautions in place, Wärtsilä was able to undertake all the necessary installation, integration and software commissioning work.
The quality of our team and our system impressed Fincantieri and they have continued working with us since then.
Wärtsilä worked in close coordination with Fincantieri, the shipyard that built the Silver Dawn. Wärtsilä’s history of cooperation with Fincantieri extends back to 2007 and the building of the first vessel in this series, the Silver Spirit. “The quality of our team and our system impressed Fincantieri and they have continued working with us since then – which has resulted in more than 20 cruise ships built by Fincantieri for various owners using our system,” says Uwe Heine, Chief Technologist at Wärtsilä.
The end result of Wärtsilä’s diesel-electric system is quiet and reliable propulsion, helping to create the best possible onboard experience for Silversea’s discerning guests.
Read more about Wärtsilä electric propulsion systems