Carbon-neutral boats head down the Hudson to New York Harbor

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KINGSTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Solaris, and the Schooner Apollonia, both carbon-neutral vessels are heading to the New York Harbor over the next nine days. Each day the two ships will stop at a city along the Hudson River.

John Phelan will captain the Solaris from Kingston to Poughkeepsie.

The Solaris was constructed two years ago at the Hudson Maritime Museum in Kingston. There are no plugs onboard. The sixteen solar panels on the vessel’s roof supply all the power to run the vessel and charge the batteries.

The crew of the Solaris tying up to the Rondout Lighthouse on Thursday, August 13, 2020.

John Phelan, captain on this Solaris cruise said, “the vessel cruises at a stately five knots, at half power. It takes 100% power to make 7 knots.” Phelan also said “they can run all day and all night,” with the onboard batteries and the sun.

Rondout lighthouse, Kingston NY
The Solaris is a tour boat and when running tours visits several lighthouses along the Hudson River.

Lisa Cline, executive director for the Hudson River Maritime Museum, said this nine-day multistage cruise would be used to take the programs at the museum out on the water since they cannot do their summer programs because of the pandemic. Cline said they would be live streaming and create informational videos about the Hudson River along the way downriver.

Accompanying the Solaris will be the Apollonia, the largest carbon-free merchant vessel on the Hudson. The Apollonia uses wind and vegetable oil to plie the waterway of the Hudson River, with non-perishable cargos.

On Thursday, August 20, both vessels will be joined by several boats from Classic Harbor Lines for a fleet sail to the Statue of Liberty and then on to Battery Park.

You can follow along on the voyage with daily updates, live video, and blog posts on the Museum’s Facebook page or at the RiverWise website.

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