Hydrogenesis

The UK’s first hydrogen-powered passenger ferry

Built in Bristol, the 11m steel hydrogen-powered ferry operates on Bristol’s historic floating harbour and the Avon.

overview

Hydrogenesis is the UK’s first hydrogen-powered passenger vessel.

A covered boat with large sliding roof panels and comfortable seating for intimate parties of up to 12 passengers.

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History of Hydrogenesis

Built in Bristol, the 11m steel hydrogen-powered ferry operates on Bristol’s historic floating harbour and the Avon. Commissioned by Bristol City Council in 2010 as part of its Green Capital initiatives, she was given the name ‘Hydrogenesis’ in February 2012, following a local schools competition. Hydrogenesis was designed and built by Bristol Hydrogen Boats, a local consortium formed by the directors of Bristol Packet Boat Trips, Number Seven Boat Trips and Auriga Energy. Powered by a 12kW fuel cell via two west-country produced permanent magnet DC motors, the ferry carries 12 passengers and two crew. The hydrogen fuel and refuelling station for the ferry are supplied by Air Products.

The fuel cell is a reverse electrolysis process bringing Hydrogen and Oxygen together with a catalyst to create electricity. It was invented by Swansea-based lawyer, Sir William Grove in 1839. The first practical working models were developed by Frances Bacon at Cambridge University in the 1950s. Further developed by NASA in the 1960s for manned space missions. Resulting in the technology finally reaching commercial reality in the early 2000s.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe and can be generated close to the point of use. Fuel cells offer strong potential for transport to help deliver tangible carbon reductions. As an alternative to petrol and diesel engines, hydrogen fuel cell-powered transport impacts significantly less on the environment producing zero emissions: the only waste product is water. This would result in a big reduction in air pollution in addition to reduced noise, if the technology is widely adopted.

Testing the ferry’s performance under seasonal operating conditions has enabled environmental and economic benchmarking against conventional diesel-powered vessels. Building on the data generated by Hydrogenesis and the knowledge developed through the design process, Bristol Packet Boat Trips hopes to continue working on a commercially viable alternative to diesel fuel and to continue to lead the way for a clean and sustainable future with hydrogen power for marine operations.

 

Awards

Since her launch, Hydrogenesis has been awarded the Mansura Trophy (Inland and Lake Category) 2012, for the pioneering work delivering the UK’s first hydrogen-powered passenger ferry; and ‘Environmental Innovation of the Year’ in the Sustainable Shipping Awards 2011.

Katie
Katie
7 May 2024
Great for special occasions, lots of fun! We had such a fabulous time on the Bagheera boat! There were 21 of us for a Hen Party, and it was a blast. The bar was well stocked, the crew were friendly, there was a microphone for us to use for games, and we could play our own music. Perfect! Booking was really simple, and communication great. Thank you!
Lynds
Lynds
3 February 2024
Do it! The boat trip was fabulous, thank you to Jude. There were only five of us for my sister’s hen do. We got to play our own music, chill have fun and not worry about anyone or anything else
S S
S S
18 December 2023
Excellent views of the city I went on one of these boats at the end of a self-guided tour of the harbourside. It was absolutely lovely. I'm not great with mobility, but I was helped onto and off the boat. What a good way to see the city!
David P
David P
8 September 2023
Must do trip when in Bristol We went on the Avon Gorge tour today 8th September. With Will as our guide,Steve the driver and Joe doing everything else. They were all fabulous and the trip well worth the money. Will was balanced giving out really good information through the trip with humour. The views were fabulous and we were very lucky with weather. Would recommend the trip
Esther W
Esther W
28 August 2023
fun fact after fun fact! lovely lil float around the dock learning a lot about the city! went on the 45 min boat ride and it was indeed fun fact after fun fact, cheers jude!
anthony w
anthony w
14 August 2023
Well worth going to the sites from the river and for Neville's commentry The weather was poor but it did not spoil the pleasure of this trip from SS Great Britain to the Bristol Channel. We were treated to an interesting and entertaining commentary from Neville. His knowledge of facts and noteworthy events was superb. But he did not lecture us, it was a delightful 3hrs, thank you Neville.
EmmaSuze1
EmmaSuze1
26 June 2023
Cracking Cream Tea We met friends for the 2 hour cream tea cruise. The scones were delicious and quite possibly the best I have ever had. The lemon drizzle cake and chocolate brownie were also full of flavour. It was a great sightseeing tour and a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon, seeing parts of Bristol we may never have see on foot. Our guide was very knowledgeable and engaged well with the passengers. She was interesting, friendly and funny and pointed out many of the moored boats and their history along the way. This trip made our weekend in Bristol even more memorable.
WalesSam
WalesSam
4 June 2023
Highly recommend… Wanted to do a boat trip around the harbour with my 8 year old Son and saw the good reviews. So glad we chose this trip- 45 mins around the harbour. Only £15 for both of us. Very interesting and enjoyable. Lovely comfortable boat, friendly crew. Would highly recommend and would do this again.
Karen P
Karen P
3 June 2023
Fabulous Evening I arranged a 3 hour boat trip for 30+ work colleagues. The crew were excellent: friendly, helpful and fun. We had 2 pub stops to the Grain Barge and Kings Road where we did not feel rushed in any way to get back to the boat. There was plenty of room onboard and plenty of choice at the bar. Everyone had a fantastic time and I’m sure we will have other trips in future. Thank you Bristol Packet Tours!
tracy s
tracy s
1 June 2023
A perfect afternoon on the water. This 45 minute boat trip is a perfect way to explore Bristol's beautiful and historic harbour. Our hosts George and Archie were fantastic, engaging and knowledgeable. They delivered a perfect tour with great facts and were able to answer our questions and provide a lovely glass of wine. Will definitely be booking the longer pub lunch trip next time we are in Bristol.

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