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Smart Group and Oceandiva to launch carbon neutral event vessel

by Joe Gallop

Smart Group in collaboration with Oceandiva, is to launch a carbon-neutral vessel that will be used as a multi-purpose event venue on the Thames, capable of hosting exhibitions.

With a joint investment of over £25m, Oceandiva London will be the largest floating events space on the Thames measuring 86m in length and 17m in breadth, spanning three decks.

Launching in Autumn, Oceandiva London will be over 2,625sqm with space to host other events such as conferences, receptions, gala dinners, product launches and brand activations. It will be able to host up to 1,500 guests standing and 600 seated and will pick up guests from London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, Greenwich and ExCeL London.

Designed, built and owned by Oceandiva, founded by Edwin Petersen in 2003 in the Netherlands, the ship will be the first London venture outside of mainland Europe by the group already established in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The trading company of Oceandiva London will be owned, managed and operated by Smart Group, which owns Evolution London and delivers sporting and cultural events such as Royal Ascot Village and Lord’s.

The ship will be catered by Smart Group’s own catering brand, Moving Venue, which caters at over 50 venues including Historic Royal Palaces and the Natural History Museum. Moving Venue will work in partnership with catering company Last Supper, which was recently acquired by Smart Group.

Speaking at a press briefing on 22 March, at London’s Landing Forty Two in the Leadenhall Building, Smart Group CEO Greg Lawson said: “Oceandiva is leading the way to a net zero future for the events industry.

“The project is the first of its kind in the world and where better to launch it than the world beating city of London.

“Today is the culmination of six years of planning. The journey started with an ambition to create a multi-purpose event venue on the Thames – and after listening to stakeholders reflecting and adapting to the challenges of the modern era, sustainability needs to be at the core of everything that we do.”

Tracey Halliwell, director of tourism, conventions and major events, at London & Partners, said: “Meeting planners are always looking for something new, unique, unusual – and even more so, they’re looking for something green. Our hope is that Oceandiva can tick all of those boxes.”

Oceandiva CEO Edwin Petersen said: “Our plan is to create a new market on the river, which will help London to keep their position as number one event city in Europe.”

Speaking about Oceandiva London’s sustainable features, Smart Group managing director Chloe Jackson said: “She’ll be powered by 100% renewable energy relying on fast charging shore based green electricity. This is further supported by onboard solar panels and a backup biofuel generator for any longer excursions.”

She added: “Our chefs already use the most local and seasonal produce throughout their menu and we will continue to reduce food miles wherever possible and ensure clients are making educated and informed decisions on their menu choices.”

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