Norwegian cruise firm vows to launch emission-free ships by 2030

5 Apr 2022

A cruise ship firm has vowed to create zero-emission ships for the Norwegian coast, with the first model due to set sail in 2030.

For more than 120 years the Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express has been carrying locals, tourists, passengers and goods between 34 ports. 

Hurtigruten group, the parent company of the Norwegian Coastal Express says the route from Bergen to Kirkness is the ideal starting point for the development of zero-emission passenger ships. 

The firm is currently upgrading its coastal express fleet through what the firm says is ‘the biggest environmental upgrade programs of its kind in Europe’, which should see CO2 emissions cut by 25%. But that's just the start, with the firm's pledge to develop totally emission-free boats.

The firm has now specified exactly what form of powertrain the ships will use, which is likely to be a key part of the development programme. The sheer size of cruise ships mean that pure battery electric technology remains challenging, although some electric boats are being used for short trips. 

The project includes all aspects of a new ship build program, from design, propulsion, energy and fuel. Hurtigruten Group’s goal is that new ships will be emission free to both air and sea, and sustainable from an economic perspective. Partner Sintef will provide analysts, research and development. 

Sintef is one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations with a background in green maritime technology and energy systems. 

“We have built our last fossil fuelled ship for the Norwegian Coastal Express,” said Hurtigruten Norway CEO, Hedda Felin. 

“When we sail the coastal route for the next 100 years, it will be emission-free, making the world's most beautiful voyage even more spectacular.” 

Norway is a strong supporter of green shipping, with Hurtigruten confident that the Norwegian coast is the perfect environment to implement green maritime infrastructure for the future.  

“Cutting emissions in the maritime sector is by no means an easy feat, and we need ambitious companies like Hurtigruten Norway to take initiatives like this,” said SINTEF President Alexandra Bech Gjørv.

Hurtigruten is hoping to invite more maritime industry partners to participate in the project to further develop innovative green ship designs and technologies. 

The Maid of the Mist boats that take sightseers close to Niagara Falls have been switched to battery electric power, and a firm in China recently began trialling an electric boat on river cruises. However, both those machines are used for shorter cruise trips than the Norwegian firm is planning.


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