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Switzerland’s MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, the World’s Largest Solar Boat, Arrives in New York City

New York, NY (PRWEB) June 18, 2013

In support of Swiss contributions to scientific research, technological innovation and sustainability, the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York is pleased to welcome the world’s largest solar boat, Switzerland’s MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, to Manhattan. PlanetSolar is in New York City as part of its DeepWater Expedition 2013 tour with scientists on board from the University of Geneva. The catamaran, led by Capitain Gérard d’Aboville, runs exclusively on energy from the sun and eliminates the need for fueled electricity, allowing researchers to collect uncontaminated data along the Gulf Stream with high-tech instruments that track changes in ocean currents and climate. Solar panels cover more than 5,554 square feet of the ship’s surface, visible to the public at North Cove Marina until June 20, 2013.

To celebrate the boat’s presence in New York, the Consulate General of Switzerland is hosting a series of educational events and private visits, in addition to today’s media conference with opening remarks by Sergej Mahnovski, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, which oversees the City’s comprehensive sustainability initiative, PlaNYC.

“PlanetSolar has become a prominent ambassador for renewable energies. It also embodies Switzerland’s commitment to foster innovation for a more sustainable future, similar to the recent initiatives announced by the City of New York,” says Ambassador François Barras, Consul General of Switzerland in New York. “The ship’s arrival is timely following Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to protect the city against the effects of climate change.”

Tracking the Impact of Climate Change with the PlanetSolar DeepWater Expedition
The DeepWater Expedition’s interdisciplinary research team is supervised by Professor Martin Beniston, Swiss climatologist and director of the Institute of Environmental Sciences at the University of Geneva (UNIGE).

“Our objective is to understand the complex interactions between physics, biology, and climate, eventually enabling scientists to refine climate simulation, especially as it relates to energy exchanges between the ocean and the atmosphere,” explains Professor Beniston. “Since the ship is powered by solar energy it does not emit any polluting substances that could distort the data collected on its 8,000 kilometer journey between Miami and Bergen, Norway.”

Following New York, the boat will set anchor in Boston, St. John’s (Canada), and Reykjavik (Iceland). Track PlanetSolar’s journey as a global ambassador for solar energy by using Google Earth and read the latest blogs by the crew on the website.

About the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York
The mission of the Consulate General of Switzerland in New York is to represent, defend and promote the interests of Switzerland and of Swiss citizens in New York and the Northeast United States. In order to strengthen Swiss-American relations, friendship and common understanding, the Consulate General supports many projects and events throughout the region and aims at further developing dialogue and exchanges between Swiss and Americans in all fields of life. For more information, please visit the official website:     or You can also follow the Consulate on Twitter @SwissCGNY

About PlanetSolar
The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, built in Kiel, Germany, is a catamaran powered exclusively by solar energy. On May 4, 2012, after sailing for 584 days and travelling over 60,000 km, PlanetSolar completed the first solar-powered trip around the world.

With her 2013 expeditions in sight, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar underwent major maintenance operations. Among the extensive maintenance tasks and optimizations carried out, noteworthy are the cabin refurbishment, the creation of a walkway on the solar bridge, and an increase to water tank capacity. The most significant optimizations were related to the propulsion system—the surface propellers were replaced by a completely immerged system, and the new rudder system ensures excellent maneuverability. The ship’s improvements will broaden and diversify her applications and will enable her to navigate to the northernmost point of the Atlantic for the first time.

For more information, go to or You can also follow the PlanetSolar journey on Twitter @PlanetSolar.

About the University of Geneva
Founded in 1559 by Jean Calvin and Théodore de Bèze, the University of Geneva (UNIGE) is now the second largest “Haute École” in Switzerland, and ranks among the top 100 universities in the world. Crown jewel of the Calvin community, the institution enjoys a privileged international reputation and cultivates its openness to the world. UNIGE welcomes approximately 16,000 students each year to its eight colleges, dealing with the essential domains of science, medicine, literature, economic and social sciences, law, theology, psychology, education, translation, and interpretation sciences. UNIGE has three missions: education, research, and service to the community. Additionally, UNIGE has been a member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) since 2002.

Press & Videos
For pictures and videos, please go to
Login: press, Password: planet2013solar

Media Contacts:

Jennifer Charlton
Consulate General of Switzerland
+1 (212) 599-5700, ext. 1053

Rachel Bros de Puechredon
+41 (79) 547 42 14

Katja Schroeder
Expedition PR
+1 (718) 312-8209

Julie Michaud
University of Geneva
+41 (76) 401 75 45

Read the full story at

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