VESSEL REVIEW | Gin Tonic – Electric-powered, eight-metre tour boat for River Seine


A new electric-powered craft is currently providing sightseeing tours along the famed River Seine in Paris.

Designed and built by southern France-based Aa’Rok, Gin Tonic is a noticeably small catamaran vessel with a length of only 8.3 metres, a beam of 3.05 metres, a draught of 0.72 metres, and seating for one operator and 12 passengers. The vessel is one of the newest additions to the fleet of Green River Cruises, a Paris-based operator that specialises in providing luxury lunch and dinner excursions for small groups of passengers in the heart of the French capital city.

Even with its smaller size compared to most other tour boats that operate in the Seine, the craft nonetheless has enough space to accommodate cushioned, wrap-around lounge seating, a table, wiring for bluetooth connectivity, a small bar with a cooler for storing refreshments and ice for guests, and two refuse bins. Onboard cabinets are also available for keeping other essential items such as dining utensils.

Gin Tonic is powered by a complete electrical propulsion package supplied by Transfluid. The package consists of two (upgradable to six) 12kWh lithium-ion batteries and a pair of water-cooled electric motors, each capable of producing 15 kW. This arrangement allows the vessel to sail at a maximum speed of 13.4 knots and a cruising speed of eight knots while ensuring minimal environmental impact that would otherwise be caused by vibrations and harmful emissions.

Further, since the engines do not generate any fumes or loud noise unlike those that operate on traditional fuels, guests will be able to take in the sights and sounds of Paris without any irritating distractions.

In addition to being positioned low enough to allow sailing under the city’s many bridges, the vessel’s roof is covered almost entirely in solar panels totalling 2,000 W in capacity. Transfluid has claimed that this will make near-unlimited sailings possible for as long as moderate speeds of typically no more than 3.7 knots are maintained on each trip. This capability makes the craft ideal for serving Green River’s available selection of Seine cruises, which include those that are two, three, and even six hours in duration.

Gin Tonic also features electronic helm controls to guarantee quicker responses to operator input in addition to helping ensure more precise manoeuvring, which is essential in docking/undocking and in navigating the numerous narrow segments of the river. Further, all onboard systems are fully redundant to lessen the risk of the vessel breaking down while still some distance from the closest available jetty.

Green River said that, to further reduce its environmental impact, around 90 per cent of the vessel is made from recyclable material.

Click here for the other news, features and reviews comprising this month’s Passenger Vessel Week.

Gin Tonic
Type of vessel:Sightseeing vessel
Owner:Green River Cruises, France
Operator:Green River Cruises, France
Designer:Aa’Rok, France
Builder:Aa’Rok, France
Length overall:8.3 metres
Beam:3.05 metres
Draught:0.72 metres
Main engines:2 x Transfluid, each 15 kW
Maximum speed:13.4 knots
Cruising speed:8.0 knots
Batteries:2 x Transfluid, each 12 kWh
Other electronics:Solar panels, 2,000 W
Seating:Lounge seating
Type of fuel:Battery power
Accommodation:Bar with cooler

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