Norwegian zero-emission cruise concept revealed

Hurtigruten Norway says the first zero-emission coastal cruise vessels will be sailing in 2030.

By Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer - June 7, 2023
Design consept of how Hurtigruten Norway’s future zero-emission cruise vessel could look. Credit: VARD Design

“Following a rigorous feasibility study, we have pinpointed the most promising technologies for our groundbreaking future cruise ships. We are committed to delivering a ship that surpasses all others in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability within just a few years,” said Hedda Felin, the CEO of Hurtigruten Norway.

The ‘Sea Zero’ concept is more than just a concept. The technologies, according to the cruise liner, will be available to sail in 2030.

Hurtigruten Norway has worked out the technologies alongside a consortium of 12 maritime partners and SINTEF research institute.

When the passengers embark on the voyage along the coast of Norway from Bergen to Kirkenes seven years from now, it will be the world’s first zero-emission long-distance cruise.

“Our task was to pave the way for new innovations and enhance existing ones to align with our sustainability objectives,” said Felin.

The concept vessel is 135 meters long, brings 500 guests and a crew of 99. Credit: VARD Design

A 60-megawatt battery pack will be combined with retractable sails with solar panels. The batteries will be charged in port. Today, the coastal steamer stops at 34 ports along the coast where vessels stop daily.

Hurtigruten Norway says the goal is clear: The entire fleet will be transformed into zero-emission vessels.

At a maximum height of 50 meters, the retractable wing rigs will comprise 1,500m2 of solar panels and a total wind surface of 750m2.

Like cars and planes, the hull of the new vessel will have a streamlined shape with less air resistance, resulting in reduced energy use.

Located in Kirkenes, Norway, just a few kilometres from the borders to Russia and Finland, the Barents Observer is dedicated to cross-border journalism in Scandinavia, Russia and the wider Arctic.

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