This paper introduces an innovative decision support system for improving ship energy efficiency. It combines an engine optimization model and an artificial neural network (ANN). Real-time data regarding the ship and engine performance is obtained along a specific ship navigation, and an engine optimization model is built using Ricardo Wave software. This model is validated with high accuracy. Ship-specific parameters are derived, and fuel consumption is estimated using ANN models with different structures. The study identifies the most suitable ANN model with 1 hidden layer and 5 neurons based on error metric evaluation where the 0.99697 R2, 0.00035 RMSE, and 0.06470 MAPE scores are calculated. This approach offers a cost-effective solution for shipping companies to monitor critical engine parameters in real-time without investing in sensors or data collection systems. Thus, it contributes to dealing with the problem of the scarcity of analyzable data in the maritime literature, which is one of the significant issues in the papers related to energy efficiency, machine learning, and deep learning. It is an innovative approach since the parameters that are related to real-time operations rather than considering only instruction book information are aggregated, and the produced data is analyzed by an intelligent tool.