Monaco is aiming to make its popular Riviera yachting industry more sustainable and a beacon of ocean conservation.
“Yachting with sense” was a focal point at the recent Monaco Oceans Week, the fifth annual event organized by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Monaco Oceanographic Institute and Monaco Scientific Centre. The “advanced yachting” advocated by the country is increased responsibility and ocean stewardship, according to Prince Albert II.
“I intend to encourage and promote our tradition for innovation which relies on technological progress to build a responsible future for yachting, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals which I share through my Foundation,” Prince Albert II, president of the Monaco Yacht Club, said during the event.
“The guiding principle is synonymous with growth that respects the environment, by realising that sustainable development is not a constraint but a lever that can improve the sector’s resilience, generate added value, and contribute to a healthy ecosystem and strong community,” he said.
Famed oceanographer and marine biologist Sylvia Earle was in attendance on behalf of the La Belle Classe Superyachts Environmental Symposium about Antarctica. She’s leading a trip there on a sustainable yacht in 2023.
“We need to shift to consider what is under the yacht,” Earle said. “We know that our actions are capable of altering the nature of nature, of altering the planet that is unique in the universe,” she added.
The event included roundtable discussions about sustainability and emissions targets for the sector, ahead of the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge in June. The event encouraged the yachting community to find inspiration from environmental advocates like Earle, as well as sustainable developments in the industry.
Monaco Ocean Week also awarded three yacht owners for their sustainability commitments. The three prizes, for Technology and Innovation, Mediation and Science, and Ethics and Behavior, were presented last Thursday.
The 80-meter Artefact won the Technology and Innovation prize for its hybrid capabilities and use of lithium batteries similar to electric vehicles. It operates a fuel-efficient engine and is one of the first yachts in the world to comply with pollutant emissions regulations as outlined by the International Maritime Organization, IMO Tier III.
The Gene Chaser, which includes its 55 meters plus a 50-meter support boat, is a floating lab. It earned the award for Mediation and Science for work on developing a new Covid rapid test.
The 73-meter Australian yacht Dragonfly, built in 2009, was awarded the Ethics and Behavior prize. When not in use by its owner, the ship offers relief aid to the island of Vanuatu. It started relief efforts there in 2015 after a hurricane displaced thousands. It was the first ship to bring fresh water and necessities. It continues to serve the area.
The yachting sector has seen significant gains in sustainable boats in recent years. From Norwegian designer Kurt Strand’s sustainable superyacht designs to innovations in solar and hydrogen-powered boats and catamarans.
Somnio, which will be the world’s largest superyacht and first with permanent residencies, will also be one of its most sustainable. Clocking in at 730 feet, the luxury megaliner will house 39 condos starting at $11.2 million. The ship, expected to launch in 2024, will not only run on clean engine technology, but will support scientific marine protection efforts as well.
“Internationally-recognised experts will join Somnio’s itinerary to update Owners on the latest global challenges and solutions on key environmental and philanthropic issues,” the company said.
Sustainability in Monaco
Monaco is quickly becoming one of the most sustainable travel destinations across Europe. The French Riviera country released its White Paper on Responsible Tourism in January, which details the city-state’s efforts to promote responsible tourism.
“Because the Mediterranean Sea lies on our doorstep, and we know just how fragile it is, because we have a long-standing commitment to a host of environmental protection initiatives, both locally and in many other places around the world, and because we want the best for future generations, we are eager to play our part in re-inventing tourism,” wrote Prince Albert II.
“For us, this is a deeply important issue, and one that addresses the needs of both the visitors we welcome today, and those we will continue to welcome in the future.”