‘Solar Express’ is a superyacht covered in solar panels for cleaner cruising


The perfect boat for eco-billionaires: Stunning superyacht unveiled that’s covered tip to tail in solar panels for cleaner cruising (the owners just have to ‘sacrifice a helipad’)

  • The futuristic boat, called the Solar Express, was inspired by the train in the 2004 film The Polar Express
  • She has a sleek, locomotive-like silhouette, plus an outdoor pool and relaxation area at the stern 
  • In total, the foredeck, sundeck and stern are fitted with more than 16,000 sq ft of solar panelling 

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Designers have unveiled a 427-foot-long (130m) superyacht covered tip to tail with solar panels for cleaner cruising.

Futuristic ‘Solar Express’ – which has a sleek, locomotive-like silhouette – was inspired by steam trains like the one that featured in the 2004 film The Polar Express. Plus, it has a striking spike at the bow that takes its cue from a narwhal tusk.

Renderings show how the vessel, which is longer than a football pitch, also features an outdoor pool and relaxation area at the stern.

Futuristic 'Solar Express' - which has a sleek, locomotive-like silhouette - was inspired by steam trains like the one that featured in the 2004 film The Polar Express. Plus, it has a striking spike at the bow that takes its cue from a narwhal tusk

Futuristic ‘Solar Express’ – which has a sleek, locomotive-like silhouette – was inspired by steam trains like the one that featured in the 2004 film The Polar Express. Plus, it has a striking spike at the bow that takes its cue from a narwhal tusk 

Renderings show how the vessel, which is longer than a football pitch, features an outdoor pool and relaxation area at the stern

Renderings show how the vessel, which is longer than a football pitch, features an outdoor pool and relaxation area at the stern

The boat was created by Hong Kong-based Anthony Glasson of design studio M51, with Glasson, who has spent a decade-plus working as an engineer on superyachts, explaining that a few luxury amenities have had to be sacrificed to ensure there was enough space for the solar panels, which coat the top deck.

Glasson explained: ‘This concept is for the owner who does not mind forgoing some typical large superyacht features such as helipads or sundecks to make way for solar panelling.

‘Solar Express is an attempt at a greener future for large superyachts.’

In total, the foredeck, sundeck and stern are fitted with more than 16,000 sq ft of solar panelling.

The boat was created by Hong Kong-based Anthony Glasson of design studio M51. Glasson has spent a decade-plus working as an engineer on superyachts

The boat was created by Hong Kong-based Anthony Glasson of design studio M51. Glasson has spent a decade-plus working as an engineer on superyachts 

Glasson explained that a few luxury amenities have had to be sacrificed to ensure there was enough space for the solar panels, which coat the top deck

Glasson explained that a few luxury amenities have had to be sacrificed to ensure there was enough space for the solar panels, which coat the top deck

Glasson explained: 'This concept is for the owner who does not mind forgoing some typical large superyacht features such as helipads or sundecks to make way for solar panelling'

Glasson explained: ‘This concept is for the owner who does not mind forgoing some typical large superyacht features such as helipads or sundecks to make way for solar panelling’ 

Nonetheless, Solar Express still offers a range of typical luxury yacht amenities. As well as the outdoor swimming pool, which measures 33ft (10m) in length, there’s a hot tub and al fresco dining on the main deck. 

The cabins, meanwhile, are located on the upper deck, with two VIP suites overlooking the aft deck and offering expansive ocean views.

The onboard amenities are powered by large batteries, fed with energy from the solar panels.

They also power part of the hybrid propulsion system, comprised of twin Azipods and electric generators.

In total, the foredeck, sundeck and stern are fitted with more than 16,000 sq ft of panelling

In total, the foredeck, sundeck and stern are fitted with more than 16,000 sq ft of panelling 

The cabins are located on the upper deck, with two VIP suites overlooking the aft deck and offering expansive ocean views

The cabins are located on the upper deck, with two VIP suites overlooking the aft deck and offering expansive ocean views 

The onboard amenities are powered by large batteries, fed with energy from the solar panels

The onboard amenities are powered by large batteries, fed with energy from the solar panels 

To improve efficiency, the Solar Express is equipped with a lightweight aluminium hull and also features lightweight luxury materials throughout.

Less excess weight allows for a greater battery capacity, though M51 did not give any figures regarding speed or range.

The boat hasn’t been designed with any particular customer in mind and in terms of pricing, Glasson told MailOnline Travel: ‘It is purely a concept at this stage. As far as cost is concerned I cannot give an accurate figure.’ 

To improve efficiency, the Solar Express is equipped with a lightweight aluminium hull and also features lightweight luxury materials throughout

To improve efficiency, the Solar Express is equipped with a lightweight aluminium hull and also features lightweight luxury materials throughout 

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