After a year of extensive research alongside 12 maritime partners and the research institute SINTEF, Hurtigruten aims to achieve emission-free marine travel by developing energy-efficient and carbon-neutral technology solutions.
Hedda Felin, CEO of Hurtigruten Norway, explained:
“When we first introduced the ‘Sea Zero’ project more than a year ago, we faced the challenge of uncertain technological advancements by 2030. Our objective was to pave the way for new innovations and enhance existing ones to align with our sustainability goals. While some technologies have made significant progress, they still require dedicated research and development to ensure successful integration within the maritime sector. On the other hand, certain technologies are in the early stages and demand fundamental research and comprehensive testing. After a thorough feasibility study, we have identified the most promising technologies for our groundbreaking future cruise ships. Our commitment is to deliver a ship that surpasses all others in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability within just a few years”.
In line with their emphasis on sustainable operations along the Norwegian coast, Hurtigruten Norway plans to construct smaller, custom-built ships. These will have a positive impact on the environment, emitting zero emissions to both the sea and land. The first ship will be operational by 2030, with the company aiming to transition its entire fleet to zero-emission vessels. Given that only 0.1% of ships worldwide currently employ zero-emission technology, Hurtigruten’s project seeks to significantly improve the overall sustainability record and future of travel within the cruise industry.
`HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Hurtigruten first zero-emission ship and future ships will run on electricity and feature onboard batteries that charge while in port. It will combine 60-megawatt hour battery solutions with wind technology. Innovations include retractable sails integrated with solar panels, artificial intelligence for manoeuvring, contra-rotating propellers, and multiple retractable thrusters.
The streamlined shape of the vessel will minimise air resistance, reduce energy consumption, and enhance passenger comfort. Alongside ample outdoor space, expansive surface areas with dedicated windows provide unparalleled views of what is ‘the world’s most beautiful coastline.’
Henrik Burvang, Research and Innovation Manager at VARD, the design and shipbuilding company responsible for the concept visuals, stated:
“We are developing a highly innovative cruise design concept and exploring optimal design methods suitable for zero-emission ships. The streamlined shape, innovative hull, and propulsion solutions not only decrease energy demands but also enhance passenger comfort. Throughout this process, we are creating new design tools and exploring cutting-edge technologies for improved energy efficiency”.
Guests will actively contribute to minimising energy consumption through an interactive mobile app. The app will enable them to control the ultra-modern cabin ventilation system and monitor their water and energy usage.
The goal is to achieve a 50% reduction in energy compared to Hurtigruten Norway’s existing ships. Two out of the seven ships have already been converted into battery-hybrid-powered vessels, and a third is upgrading in the coming autumn. The remaining five ships are being fitted with technologies that will reduce CO2 emissions by 25%.
In 2019, Hurtigruten Expeditions, the sister company, introduced the world’s first battery-hybrid-powered ship, MS Roald Amundsen. Currently, the Expeditions arm boasts three battery-hybrid ships among its fleet of seven.
The newly designed zero-emission ship measures 443 feet in length and features 270 cabins. It accomodates 500 guests and 99 crew members. In alignment with Hurtigruten’s 130-year legacy of coastal cargo transportation, the new vessel will facilitate the transportation of cars.
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