Solarschiff Porrima

All Aboard the Porrima: The World's First Solar-Powered Ship Has Set Sail

The renewable energy-powered vessel has just set sail from Dubai to the Maldives as part of its circumnavigation of the globe.

July 7, 2022

Ships that travel around the world are no longer newsworthy. Every day, numerous ocean liners crisscross the world's oceans. However, the Porrima's journey is a different story – she's the world's first solar-powered ship, whose energy is supplied by the wind, the sun and hydrogen. Since its departure from Japan, it has already covered more than 185,200 kilometers – and cleaned up the ocean along the way.

Sustainable cruise around the world

Now skeptics might interject that people sailed around the world without heavy oil, engines or marine diesel centuries ago. That's true, of course, but rowboats and galleys require an enormous amount of manpower. And sailing ships alone are not very fast. The Porrima, on the other hand, operates at high speed, is easily maneuverable and 36 meters long. The solar energy from its 515 square meters of solar cells, combined with sailing, will take her around the world as part of the Blue Voyage.

Solarschiff PorrimaThe futuristic Porrima is changing ocean travel. © Audrey Meunier

However, there are still no passengers on board – so far it's only been researchers. Right now, they're still collecting data, tinkering with the ship and constantly improving on the experience. The goal is to make the technologies used on the Porrima suitable for mass production. Among other things, they use the excess energy from the solar cells to convert seawater into hydrogen. Along the way, nanoparticle filters filter microplastics from the ocean. They even fish sustainably, too, by only catching male fish.

A solar-powered ship with great goals in sight

The knowledge the researches gain on the first voyage is expected to revolutionize seafaring – both in the area of passenger cruising and container shipping. The Porrima Foundation, for example, plans to install 1,000 nanoplastic filters on existing ships. After ten years in operation, the entire Mediterranean could be nanoplastic-free. "We want to show how it's possible to clean up the ocean, fish sustainably, and travel the world sustainably and efficiently," says Prof. Gunter Pauli, the inventor of the Porrima.

Strong partner: LUX* South Ari Atoll. © LUX* Resorts & Spas

To get the word out, the Porrima will sail around the world for three years. She is currently on her way to the World Cup in Qatar as part of the Blue Odyssey. The final destination will be the World Expo in Osaka in 2025. The project has also found a strong partner in the Lux Collective, a luxury hotel operator.

Next Stop: LUX* South Ari Atoll 

In the second week of July 2022, the solar ship will arrive at LUX* South Ari Atoll. Guests and visitors at the resort will have the opportunity to get to know the Porrima first-hand. In addition, government representatives will hold discussions in Malé. With its support, the resort would like to help secure a pioneering role for the Maldives in the hydrogen economy.

LUX* South Ari AtollLUX* South Ari Atoll also relies on solar energy. © LUX* Resorts & Spas


"We are pleased to be the lead partner of Porrima's Blue Voyage. This partnership underscores our group's strategic focus on sustainable developments and sharing breakthrough concepts for zero-emission facilities that operate within natural limits. In addition to the use of solar energy in our resort, supporting this project is our way of giving back to the ocean as well as the earth in general – and the Maldives archipelago in particular," says General Manager of LUX* South Ari Atoll, Patrice Aira.

LUX* South Ari Atoll
South Atoll, Dhidhoofinolhu, Maldives, Maldives
Tel.: +960 668-0901
Price: doubles from approx. €453 per night

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