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ABB to power first hybrid-electric polar expedition cruise ship built in South America

ABB has won an order from Astilleros y Servicios Navales S.A. (ASENAV) shipyard in Chile to supply power and propulsion system for Antarctica21’s newbuild polar expedition cruise ship



  • ABB has won an order from Astilleros y Servicios Navales S.A. (ASENAV) shipyard in Chile to supply power and propulsion system for Antarctica21’s newbuild polar expedition cruise ship
  • The project marks a milestone as the first installation of Azipod® propulsion technology on a hybrid-electric vessel built in the Americas
  • Built to operate in the polar seas, the ice-going Magellan Discoverer will benefit from high efficiency, passenger safety and comfort

ABB has been selected by the Astilleros y Servicios Navales S.A. (ASENAV) shipyard based in Chile to provide a power and propulsion system for Antarctica21’s newbuild boutique expedition ship Magellan Discoverer. Due for delivery in 2026, the vessel is the first hybrid-electric polar cruise ship featuring Azipod® propulsion to be built in the Americas. Accommodating up to 96 passengers and 67 crew members, the vessel will be operating in the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas).

ASENAV is the biggest private shipyard in Chile and Antarctica21 is a global leader in touristic operations focused on ‘fly & cruise’ expeditions to Antarctica. Both companies are important players in an expedition segment which recognizes technical innovation as key to balancing cost efficiency with environmental responsibility.

“This ship is born out of our unwavering commitment to meeting the rising expectations of our guests,” said Mr. Jaime Vásquez, President of Antarctica21. “Equipped with the latest technology, Magellan Discoverer strengthens our dedication to sustainability while offering seamless comfort for our travelers. With its modern elegance and advanced technical features, it supports our ongoing effort to provide unparalleled experiences in the spectacular Antarctic region.”

“Manufacturing the first hybrid-electric cruise ship in the Americas solidifies our position as a highly competitive shipyard on a global scale,” said Heinz Pearce, General Manager of ASENAV. “Alongside fostering new engineering solutions, we are constructing a vessel that meets the quality, comfort and sustainability needs currently demanded by the global tourism industry. With the support of our suppliers, such as ABB, we are now raising the standard in shipbuilding, leading the progress of an industry heading towards more sustainable development.”

The project further demonstrates ABB’s competitive advantage as a preferred supplier for electrification of expedition cruise ships. ABB’s scope of supply comprises the Azipod® propulsion system and a hybrid power plant featuring the Onboard DC Grid™ power distribution system, with battery bank from Corvus Energy. The ship’s energy storage system allows the engines to be switched off for silent operations in environmentally sensitive areas. Moreover, the flexibility of ABB’s Onboard DC Grid™ allows integrating a wide range of energy sources, such as fuel cells, ensuring the vessel is ready to comply with stricter emission regulations in the future.

“We look forward to our collaboration with ASENAV and Antartica21,” said Juha Koskela, Division President, ABB Marine & Ports. “Every new reference for Azipod® propulsion and hybrid power systems is a victory for ship efficiency, taking the industry forward on the journey toward decarbonization.”

The leading propulsion solution for cruise ships and ice-going vessels for over three decades, Azipod® is a gearless steerable propulsion system, where the electric drive motor is housed within a pod outside the ship hull. Azipod® units can rotate 360 degrees, increasing maneuverability, safety and operating efficiency of the vessel, while cutting fuel consumption by up to 20 percent compared to conventional shaftline systems.

More informationn:
Exploration cruise
Icegoing vessels
Azipod® electric propulsion
Electric, Digital and Connected solutions for the marine industry

For more information contakt:
Jacob Lundholm on mail: jacob.lundholm@dk.abb.com or mobil phone: +45 2070 6195

For information on new buildings contact:
Michael D Christensen on mail: michael.d.christensen@dk.abb.com or
mobil phone: +45 2012 084

ABB’s Process Automation business automates, electrifies and digitalizes industrial operations that address a wide range of essential needs – from supplying energy, water and materials, to producing goods and transporting them to market. With its ~20,000 employees, leading technology and service expertise, ABB Process Automation helps customers in process, hybrid and maritime industries improve performance and safety of operations, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. go.abb/processautomation

ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on over 140 years of excellence, ABB’s more than 105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation. www.abb.com

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Marianne Holstein
+45 44504303 marianne.holstein@dk.abb.com

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