Knud E. Hansen river ship concept brings rhythm ‘n’ cruise to the Mississippi
One of the most popular cruise destinations in the US is the Mighty Mississippi: the country’s second-longest river. Each year, tens of millions of visitors sign up to cruise portions of the river, picking from a wide range of itineraries and vessel types. It’s for this market that Knud E. Hansen has developed the concept for a 100m-long, seven-deck river vessel, capable of a range of 14 days and accommodation for up to 220 passengers. The planned vessel will feature a moulded breadth of 20m, a depth of 4.2m and a draught of 2.7m, the latter of which should help it to access shallower sections of the river – an important consideration given that the Mississippi’s water levels have dipped to historic lows in recent years.
All of the engine rooms, technical spaces and provision stores have been arranged on Deck 1, while Deck 2 hosts 11 VIP staterooms – each covering just over 31m2 – and the crew quarters. Alternatively, Deck 2 can be configured to feature a garage with the capacity for approximately 20 passenger cars, and the crew quarters. Access to the garage would be via a hoistable, folding ramp on the starboard side. Knud E. Hansen says: “Passenger embarkation is arranged at both sides on Deck 2, or through a telescopic gangway/bow door at the bow – both giving direct access to the reception area on Deck 3.”
Further staterooms are distributed between Decks 3 to 6, all outfitted with large, flat-screen TV sets and independently controlled thermostats. Those passengers who fancy a tipple but don’t want to walk far would be advised to book a stateroom on Deck 4, which hosts a bar lounge with 150 seats. Deck 3, meanwhile, features a 200-seat restaurant in addition to a hairdresser’s, a shop and a library.
Deck 6 grants passengers access to an open sun deck, surrounded by glass rails, which contains an outdoor bar and buffet area and, to the fore, a fitness centre with massage rooms, jacuzzis and a sauna. This layout leaves the officer’s accommodation and ship’s office to the forward area of Deck 5.
The propulsive arrangement will comprise two stern azimuth electric thrusters, each contained within a separate compartment at the stern, plus a single pump jet in the bow compartment. Knud E. Hansen has pursued a hybrid approach to power: the cruiser will deploy four high-speed diesel gensets combined with a battery pack and energy storage system. The company adds: “The design of the vessel will be based on green technology…the vessel can be fuelled with eFuels, and the ship’s systems are designed for zero discharge.” An additional future option may be incorporation of solar panels into the vessel’s design.
A green approach to operations on the Mississippi is not only commendable but advisable, given that, in 2022, the river was listed as one of the US’ “most endangered” waterways by conservation group American Rivers: in addition to the risk of ‘drying out’, the river’s expansive nature makes it prone to pollution. Knud E. Hansen estimates that the vessel will have a service speed of 12knots.