The Energy Observer, the first hydrogen vessel to attempt a trip around the world, is currently in Monaco until the 21st of December. The public is invited to a special village created for the Energy Observer’s stop-over in the Principality, which is located on Quai Antoine Premier, opposite the restaurant Stars’N’Bars. The ship itself is currently moored on the other side of the harbour, facing the Monaco Yacht Club.
The Energy Observer’s ambitious voyage began in April 2017. Developed in collaboration with engineers from France’s CEA-LITEN and supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the vessel will travel the world using only wind, hydrogen and solar energy.
Testing and proving the efficiency of renewable energies is something very important to the Energy Observer team. The vessel is often nicknamed the ‘Solar Impulse of the Seas’ because of its similarity to the solar project by Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, which was also supported by Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
Leading the expedition is Captain Victorien Erussard, on offshore racer and naval merchant along with officer Jérôme Delafosse, a professional diver and documentary film producer. A team of over 30 people, including architects, designers and engineers, have been working on repurposing the vessel since 2015. The Energy Observer is a refurbished race boat that was built in Canada in 1983. It was the first racing sailboat to break the symbolic 500-mile limit in 24 hours in 1984. The boat has since been lengthened four times and is currently 30.5 metres long and weighs 30 tons.
The Energy Observer has traveled 4,000 miles before its stop in Monaco. The Principality is the vessel’s twelfth and final stop on its ‘tour de France’ before continuing on its epic 6-year expedition around the world.