Lürssen’s sparkling new superyacht, Blue, left the shipyard in Bremen on Saturday, setting sail on her maiden voyage to Malta. Spanning 524.9 ft and weighing in at 15,320 gross tonnes, the gigantic vessel now holds the title of the fifth largest yacht in the world.
But it’s not just size that sets Blue apart in the competitive superyacht sector. The delivery of the ship marks an exciting milestone for the German shipbuilder in its quest to pave the way to a more sustainable future for yachting.
As her name would suggest, Blue has been thoughtfully designed to minimize her impact on the oceans. Lürssen worked with the new owner’s technical project management team for the project, as well as the design team from Terence Disdale, who are the brains behind both the sleek exterior and luxurious interiors.
The new superyacht is fitted with a groundbreaking diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system. Developed by Lürssen’s in-house engineering experts, the new technology comprises twin diesel engines that drive two controllable pitch propellers through individual gearboxes.
PTI/PTO units fitted to the gearboxes can be used either for electric propulsion to travel at slower speeds, or for generating electrical energy when the vessel picks up pace. As well as this innovative technology, Blue is fitted with an electric Azimuth Pod Drive, which in electric mode can be used separately, or when the PTI units are engaged, with the two propeller shafts.
These are not token efforts at going green. Rather, Lürssen has spent several years on the project in the hope of inspiring other shipbuilders to create more eco-friendly vessels.
Of course, comfort is also at the heart of the design, and Blue features an exhaust after-treatment system to reduce noise levels and nitrogen oxide emissions. Additionally, the onboard wastewater treatment plant is equipped with new membrane technology that allows treated wastewater to be safely disposed of at what Lürssen describes as ‘drinking water quality.’
All the features you would expect from the planet’s fifth-largest superyacht are present including a pair of helicopter landing sites, a spacious al fresco dining terrace and a swimming platform connected to a beach club. Besides this, very little information about the new vessel is available and images of the interiors have been kept strictly under wraps.
“To execute such a comprehensive project, an excellent team is necessary,” said the shipbuilder’s managing partner, Peter Lürssen. “We are very proud of Blue as yet another statement of Lürssen’s ability and desire to build yachts that meet all of our exacting owner’s requirements, guided by our core focus of expert engineering, beautiful design and being a proud market leader in developing sustainable technologies.”
Lürssen’s Project Blue is only the latest example of its efforts to champion sustainability. At the Monaco Yacht Show last year, the shipyard unveiled Alice: a climate-neutral yacht concept that replaced conventional diesel generators with emission-free fuel cells which generate electrical energy based on hydrogen reformed from green methanol.
While Alice was just an idea, the concept served as an important tool to spark conversations within the yachting industry around how to move toward a greener future. Lürssen is also currently in the process of building its first yacht with fuel cell technology (due for delivery in 2025) which will make it possible to anchor emission-free for 15 days or cruise 1,000 miles at slow speed. Alongside these projects, the German shipbuilder set up an innovation lab to test the installation of a marine hybrid fuel cell system on board a yacht.
Pioneering cleaner energy technologies isn’t the only way Lürssen is striving to reduce its environmental impact. The shipyard also works closely with the Blue Marine Foundation – an organization dedicated to putting at least 30% of the world’s oceans under protection by 2030 while restoring precious marine habitats and tackling unsustainable fishing practices.
In fact, Peter Lürssen personally paid for the operating costs of the Blue Marine Foundation for five years, on top of donating $2.3m to fund a project to create a marine protection area around Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean.