Kalle Id reporting from Ulsteinvik, Norway
Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise line, and the Kleven shipyard today showcased the upcoming hybrid diesel-electric expedition ship MS Roald Amundsen to the international media in Ulsteinvik, Norway.
The Roald Amundsen is shaping up to be the most environmentally friendly expedition cruise ship thanks to its diesel engines complemented with batteries. The engine, battery and propulsion package, provided by Rolls-Royce, will help decrease the ship’s total emissions by circa 20% compared to vessel of a more conventional design. The purely technical solutions are complemented by Hurtigruten’s other sustainability efforts, such as an already-implemented ban on single-use plastics and doing away with the use of heavy fuel oil. With the new ship and the project to convert several existing vessels on the Norwegian coastal route to run on a combination of liquidized natural gas, biogas and battery power, the company hope to challenge the entire industry to step up their sustainability efforts.
At the same time, the Roald Amundsen will offer an unprecedented passenger experience with the new science center, a large edutainment venue onboard which will help passengers connect to the destination in a deeper, more immersive way already when they are en-route. In addition to the science center, the ship will offer lecture spaces within the Explorer Lounge & Bar on the ship’s top deck, and it will even be possible to arrange lectures in the ship’s multi-deck atrium, which will have the tallest led-screen afloat that can also be used for presentations. For the first time in Hurtigruten’s history, passengers will have three restaurants to choose from, while all passenger cabins with have either a window or a private balcony.
The Roald Amundsen will be delivered during Q1 of 2019 and will take passengers to Norway, Greenland, the Antarctica and – for the first time in Hurtigruten’s history – Alaska, where the company promise to ”do something completely different” from the mass-market ships that currently dominate the Alaskan market. The company currently have a firm contract for one sister ship, the MS Fridtjof Nansen, and a letter of intent for a third vessel. According to the Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam, the company hopes from contract further newbuildings from the Kleven shipyard in the future to maintain and further develop the yard’s competence.