Monday 29th May 2023

Smart Group Unveils Oceandiva London, the UK's First CO2-Neutral Vessel on the Thames

Smart Group, the UK’s leading events and hospitality company, has announced the delivery of Oceandiva London, which will become the first carbon-neutral ship on the River Thames, set to revolutionise London's hospitality sector.

Oceandiva London has arrived.

Smart Group, the UK’s leading events and hospitality company, has announced the delivery of Oceandiva London, which will become the most sustainably advanced, carbon-neutral ship on the River Thames, set to revolutionise London’s hospitality sector. Oceandiva London will be the first passenger vessel to receive a prestigious Gold Certificate with a Platinum Label granted by The Green Award for shipping companies committed to environmental protection, safety, and quality. The state-of-the-art new events vessel was constructed in a shipyard in the Netherlands and will shortly be making its passage to the UK for commissioning, testing and the final stage of its superior fit out.

Oceandiva London, which has been under construction since 2021 at a cost of £25m, boasts impressive dimensions spanning three decks and measuring 86m in length and 17m in breadth. With flexible event spaces, the vessel is capable of hosting conferences, exhibitions, receptions, gala dinners, award ceremonies, product launches, and brand activations for up to 1,000 guests once in full service.

Merging innovative architectural design with the latest technology, Oceandiva London will be the first carbon-neutral powered vessel on the River Thames, leading the way to decarbonise the capital’s river. Capable of 100% sustainable operation through its propulsion system and energy strategy, Oceandiva London utilises fast charging shore-based renewable energy, and a back-up biofuel generator.

Smart Group partnered with Oceandiva International BV, Dutch owners and operators responsible for the design and build of the vessel in 2016 with a vision to create a vessel and events venue that would be a world-first for sustainability, quality and innovation. London was chosen against other international destinations as the city to site and launch the vessel, based on its reputation as a global business and events hub, combined with its commitment to sustainability.

The vessel has already begun to attract attention from global event planners and incentive buyers. Upon arrival in the UK, Oceandiva London will berth in the Royal Docks for a programme of final fit out. As part of its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, Smart Group will also be launching a new corporate social responsibility program and community engagement initiative related to the vessel. The vessel will be in full service from June 2023.

The standard of finish will be cutting-edge, and unprecedented for its level of quality and sophistication, with a sustainable and technology-driven approach by Smart Group’s production partner, Encore. It includes extensive technical infrastructure for highly creative AV and IT production onboard, including a 12 x 3.5m LED wall and enterprise-grade Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.

Catering on the vessel will be supplied by one of London’s leading caterers, Moving Venue, Smart Group’s own catering brand, which has a 39-year history and is the longstanding catering partner at over 50 prestigious London venues including Historic Royal Palaces and the Natural History Museum.

Oceandiva London exterior

Greg Lawson, CEO of Smart Group commented:

“We are proud to operate this pioneering vessel and be at the forefront of sustainable innovation in the events industry. Our Anglo-Dutch partnership with Edwin Petersen illustrates how businesses will continue to operate successfully across Europe post-Brexit and we are proud to be part of such a well-established, Europe-wide collaboration.

“The delivery of Oceandiva London cements our position as a leader in event management, venue ownership, and hospitality services. We are committed to creating a positive impact on the environment and our community, and this project exemplifies our values and dedication to sustainability. The delivery of this exceptional venue is a true team effort and a critical milestone towards its opening later this year.”

Oceandiva London Boat Exterior Night

Pru Ashby, Head of Sustainability for London & Partners, commented,

“We are excited to be welcoming the launch of this one-of-a-kind venue in London. Oceandiva is a fantastic reflection of London’s ability to innovate and commitment to sustainability and is hugely important to us as a city that is aiming to reach net zero by 2030.”

oceandiva captain's pit

Edward Tutie, Technical Manager at British Marine commented:

“With the ever-increasing pressures on emissions, particularly in built up areas such as London, British Marine is proud to have proactive members, like Oceandiva London, who are going beyond emissions reduction and pioneering the way for the future with a fantastic zero emission vessel.

“Although there is such a drive, both from Government (local and main) and the general public, there are still a huge number of obstacles to overcome to achieve such a vessel, ranging from shore side infrastructure to vessel compliance to ensure they are operating one of the cleanest vessels (and certainly the least emitting vessel of her class and size) on the Thames.

“The vessel doesn’t just target its green credentials on the propulsion system with intuitive garbage disposal and black waste systems. This vessel is setting a new bar.”

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