FINNISH shipbuilder Meyer Turku is aiming to develop a climate-neutral ship concept by 2025 and a carbon neutral shipyard by 2030.

The company is working toward these objectives under its NEcOLEAP project – a wholistic research and development initiative focusing on the ship itself, shipbuilding, smart technologies and future drivers.

Meyer Turku is currently getting ready to deliver the world’s largest cruise ship to Royal Caribbean International.

The new Icon of the Seas is 365 metres long and 248,655 gross tonnage, overtaking Wonder of the Seas – another Royal Caribbean vessel at 236,857 GT – as the largest in the world. The new ship has capacity for 7600 guests on board.

Meyer Turku CEO Tim Meyer said Icon of the Seas is also the most efficient per person in the world; the ship is powered by liquefied natural gas.

The company has observed that passenger expectations are changing over time – where safety and value were once priorities, sustainability and automation have become more important in recent years.

Speaking to media at the shipyard in Turku, Mr Meyer addressed the suggestion that the cruise industry would need to consider how cities respond to increasing vessel sizes and numbers of passengers.

“Because of the size, the scaling, you have possibility to offer more to the customer, and you are more efficient compared to the smaller ships,” Mr Meyer said.

“What needs to be understood is that we cannot change the whole ship from one day to another – it takes time, but we are on our way.

“And I think [through] these topics and these discussions, we just start and hopefully boost also the willingness from the customer side to do something.”

DCN visited the Meyer Turku shipyard as a guest of Business Finland. Further coverage will appear in upcoming DCN magazine editions.