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Lord Hornblower retrofitted with environmentally friendly Tier 2 marine engines

June 25, 2008

Improvements reduce emissions while providing 80% increase in fuel-efficiency


San Diego, CA – The Lord Hornblower, one of the largest yachts in California, is the first vessel in the San Diego Hornblower fleet to be retrofitted with Tier 2 marine engines. This significantly reduces the emissions produced by the vessel and makes it 80% more fuel-efficient. In addition, all San Diego Hornblower vessels have been using a 20% biofuel blend since February 2007, and is the only fleet of dining yachts in San Diego to use this environmentally-friendly fuel.

In addition to new propulsion engines, the Lord Hornblower also received two new, Tier 2 generators; a new, electronically controlled Twin Disc transmission; a state-of-the-art digital monitoring system; new navigational system and new electronics. The vessel is now well beyond other passenger vessels in the area in efficiency, both for fuel and overall operations.

The Lord Hornblower is the flagship of Hornblower’s fleet in San Diego and a well-known fixture in the bay, making nightly dinner cruises and brunch cruises on the weekends. The Lord Hornblower, which was designed to resemble a 19th century steamer, can have up to 800 passengers.

“These new generation of engines will soon be required for all vessels of this type in California. Hornblower is proud to be an innovator and trailblazer of new technologies that help conserve our natural resources and preserve our environment,” said Charles Assimakopoulos, Director of Marine Services of Hornblower Cruises & Events in San Diego. “We hope other companies follow our lead soon, and we’re happy to provide advice and guidance.”

A retrofit to Tier 2 engines requires a vessel to be removed from service for several days. In addition to lost productivity, the engines themselves are costly. An engine retrofit is estimated to cost a company between $500,000 to $750,000, but the saving of fuel from the conversion will equal that cost in a short time.  Hornblower successfully completed this entire project in six days, which is much faster than the traditional 30 to 45 days needed for a project of this scope.

The systems in place, and the use of the biofuel, provide many benefits, including: lower nitrous oxide emissions, no visible exhaust, 80% better fuel efficiency and reduced impact on the environment.

The Swedish company Scania manufactured the engines and electronics and the generators made by John Deere. Scania was founded in 1891 and is a leading manufacturer of industrial and marine engines as well as heavy trucks and buses.

Hornblower Cruises & Events is celebrating more than 28 years of providing yachts for both charter and public dining cruises. The premier fleet of unique luxury and historic yachts, includes the Lord Hornblower and the Inspiration Hornblower, San Diego’s largest charter yacht and the historic Abbey located in Balboa Park. Hornblower also operates in San Francisco, Berkeley, Marina Del Rey and Newport Beach. For more information on Hornblower event planning or individual cruise reservations call 1-800-ON-THE-BAY or visit Hornblower Cruises & Events’ web site at




About Hornblower Cruises & Events

Hornblower Cruises & Events has been California’s leading charter yacht and public dining cruise company for nearly 30 years. With 35 distinct vessels, ranging from cozy, custom-designed catamarans to the 3 largest dining yachts on the West Coast, Hornblower welcomes guests for classic sightseeing and dining cruises, corporate outings, weddings, special events, environmental tours and film shoots. In California, the company sails from San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Marina del Rey and San Diego. Alcatraz Cruises and Statue Cruises, which are Hornblower subsidiaries and National Park Service concessioners, provide water transportation services to Alcatraz Island, the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island. Learn more at or 1-866-HORNBLOWER.