ABB’s Azipod® propulsion passes 100 cruise ship milestone with PONANT order

06 March, 2018 (Helsinki) – Azipod® propulsion, the ABB technology that has become the industry standard in the cruise segment since its launch in 1990, has secured its 100th cruise ship order, winning a contract for powering the world’s first electric hybrid icebreaker.

Azipod VI propulsion unitAzipod® VI propulsion unitThe luxury polar expedition cruise ship, due delivery for the French cruise company PONANT in 2021, will feature two Azipod® VI propulsion units fit for the most challenging ice conditions.

Upon delivery from Norway’s Vard Søviknes, a Fincantieri Company, the cruise ship will take passengers to unexplored destinations in Arctic and Antarctic waters. In the harsh conditions of ice-covered seas, Azipod units with 6-meter propellers and combined power of 34 MW will help the vessel achieve greater maneuverability and efficiency, as well as lower the environmental impact. Due to minimal noise and vibration, Azipod propulsion will also improve passenger and crew comfort.

“We are delighted that PONANT chose to rely on ABB’s leading expertise both in cruise and ice-going vessel propulsion for their pioneering vessel,” said Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports. “Azipod units already power more than 80 vessels navigating in icy seas, and reaching the 100th cruise ship order highlights ABB’s commitment to a technology with superior performance, reliability, safety and environmental profile.”

Propulsion system of choice for cruise vessels around the world

The first Azipod order from a cruise ship customer in 1995 led to installations on board the Carnival Cruise Lines Fantasy-class newbuildings Elation and Paradise. An order from Royal Caribbean Cruises came in 1997, with three Azipod units installed on the biggest cruise ship of its time – Voyager of the Seas. Other large cruise lines followed, selecting Azipod propulsion for their vessels.

Ponant vessel forward view copyright Ponant Stirling Design InternationalPonant vessel forward view (copyright Ponant  - Stirling Design International)“At the beginning of the 1990s, we entered the cruise market with a technology offering a 10-15% efficiency gain over conventional shaftline systems and a gearless construction that reduces environmental impact,” said Marcus Högblom, Head of the Passenger, Ice & Dry Cargo segment, ABB Marine & Ports. “Since then, the cruise market has been increasingly choosing Azipod propulsion. We estimate that energy savings equivalent to 700,000 tons of fuel have been made in the cruise sector due to the selection of Azipod.”

Options for Azipod propulsion now span 1.5MW to 22MW, and the technology has played a key role in developing ABB Marine & Ports’ strong position for environmentally-friendly electric propulsion.

Utilizing the ABB Ability™ Collaborative Operation Center infrastructure, ABB experts are able to monitor the operational parameters of the Azipod cruise fleet and coordinate remote equipment analysis, diagnostics, and predictive maintenance services.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner of Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 135,000 employees.

For more information please contact:

Media Relations
Margarita Sjursen
Phone: +47 45132617
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Investor Relations
Phone: +41 43 317 71 11
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Merenkulkijankatu 1
00980 Helsinki