Princess Ships Start Plugging into Shore Power at Port of Vancouver

Newspapers

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (August 31, 2009) — Today Island Princess helped inaugurate the Port of Vancouver’s new shore power facility by turning off its engines and instead “plugging in” to clean hydroelectric power from shore.

The new shore power technology at the Canada Place cruise ship terminal enables Princess Cruises’ ships, and other equipped vessels, to use power from the city’s grid instead of the onboard diesel-powered engines, reducing emissions when docking in Vancouver.

The port becomes the third in the world where Princess Cruises’ ships can take advantage of this innovative technology. The new shore power installation is the very first use of this technology in Canada and is the result of a $9 million cooperative partnership among Port Metro Vancouver, Transport Canada, Western Economic Diversification Canada, British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, British Columbia Hydro, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.

“We’ve been committed to shore power for many years, so we’re pleased we can now ‘plug in’ our ships at Port Metro Vancouver,” said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. “We know that local air quality issues are important to the community, and we’re proud to join with all those involved in realizing this important environmental initiative.”

Princess’ shore power program made history when it debuted in Juneau, Alaska in the summer of 2001. It expanded to Seattle in summer 2005 and is planned to roll out in other ports that have made commitments to the technology, including Los Angeles and San Francisco. Currently nine of the line’s ships are outfitted with the capability to “plug in” to a shoreside power source.

Four Princess ships will use shore power in Vancouver during the remainder of the 2009 Alaska season. The vessels — Coral Princess, Diamond Princess, Island Princess and Sapphire Princess — sail on seven-day Gulf of Alaska cruises.

To create this unique power system, Princess has outfitted its ships with custom-built connection cabinets that connect the ship’s electrical network to the local electrical system ashore. Since 2001, Princess has invested nearly $7 million in equipment alone to enable its vessels to connect to shore power. The ships currently equipped with this technology include:

  • Coral Princess
  • Dawn Princess
  • Diamond Princess
  • Golden Princess
  • Island Princess
  • Sapphire Princess
  • Sea Princess
  • Star Princess
  • Sun Princess

Also known as “cold ironing,” shore power uses electrical power transmitted from a landside transformer to the vessel via four 3½-inch diameter flexible electrical cables. The actual cable connection on a vessel is a traditional, though quite large, plug and socket. The length of time needed to connect a ship to shore power and shut down the vessel’s diesel generator is approximately 40 minutes. Once connected, the ship’s engines are powered down and, simultaneously, the necessary amount of power, provided by BC Hydro, will be used to run the ship’s services while in port.