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New Marine Trends To Watch in 2019

  • by: Ryan Abbot
  • On: 14, Feb 2019
3 min read

New technology and new materials are driving the marine sector forward, allowing for bold new ship designs. Whether built for the shipping industry, cruises, or races, the ways ships are being designed and built are changing. New trends are being established, old models disrupted

Over the coming decades we’ll see innovations across the sector, so here is just some of the newest marine technology to keep an eye on.

New Marine Trends We’ll See Over The Next Decade:

  • Large LNG Carriers

There is a growing demand for cleaner fuels in all industries around the world, but especially in the marine sector. Liquified Natural Gas is poised to be one of the major fuel sources in the marine industry thanks to increasingly restrictive legislation forcing shipping companies to move away from crude oil. The production of LNG vessels is rising, and will likely continue to rise over the next year and beyond.

The sector will need to be flexible as new types of energy become more viable, especially if supply tensions between the US and China escalate any further, but based on current predictions liquid natural gas looks set to play a big role in the marine sector in the coming decade. Given the life expectancy of a LNG ship is around 40 years, the newly expanded fleet will likely be in service for the foreseeable future, which explains the high levels of investment. Fleet utilisation is expected to hit 90% from 2020.

  • Shipboard AI

The cruise industry is famous for its hospitality, setting the standard for service around the world. However, new technology is giving it an upgrade, in the form of a voice-activated assistant, powered by AI. MSC’s Zoe will be able to speak seven languages, and answer commonly asked questions that passengers have about the cruise, its programmes, or the ship itself, the MSC Bellissima. It can help passengers book events or services, order food, or find their way around the ship.

Developed with Samsung, this represents a shift away from traditional concierges, giving more power to the passenger. MSC has however stressed that this new system, which operates 24/7, is not designed to replace the more traditional human experience of being at sea, nor will it impact jobs in the cruise industry.

Learn more about Liquid Natural Gas in the Marine Industry.

  • The Scenic Eclipse

Billed as the world’s first ‘discovery yacht’, this luxury ship has been plagued by setbacks over the last year. It has recently postponed its launch for the third time. Scenic established itself as a river cruise line, and has attempted to venture into the ocean market with the Eclipse. Due to sail in April of 2018, strikes at the shipyard where it is being built pushed the launch back to January, and now August.

While the industry can learn a lot from the Eclipse’s failings, this move to diversify into new markets signals a bold new business model that other cruise lines may seek to replicate.

The concept of a ‘discovery’ cruise is something that is attractive to both existing and new audiences, and we may soon start to see more lines offering cruises to more exotic destinations.

Learn about how autonomous technology may impact the marine industry, or read about how engineering is making the marine industry safer.

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