Hurtigruten Norway introduces electric cruise ship
The Norwegian shipping company Hurtigruten Norway has presented plans for an emission-free cruise ship. It is to become the most energy-efficient cruise ship in the world. The first ship is scheduled to set sail in 2030.
The electric cruise ship, which was now presented as a concept, is being developed under the project name ‘Sea Zero’ together with a consortium of twelve maritime partners and the research institute SINTEF. It is 135 metres long and has 270 cabins for 500 guests and 99 crew members.
It will also be equipped with three sails up to 50 metres high, which can be retracted and fitted with over 1,500 square metres of solar panels. The wind energy generated by the sails will be stored in batteries with a total capacity of 60 megawatt-hours. The latter will also be recharged in the ports along the route.
The Sea Zero project is now entering a two-year phase in which the proposed technologies will be tested and further developed with a view to the final zero-emission vessel. The current research and development phase focuses on battery production, propulsion technology, hull design and sustainable practices that reduce energy consumption to an absolute minimum.
Hurtigruten Norway plans to have the first smaller zero-emission ship in 2030 and to convert its entire fleet to zero-emission ships in the long term.
“When we initially announced the ‘Sea Zero’ project over a year ago, we were faced with the challenge of not knowing which technologies would be available to us in 2030,” explains Hurtigruten Norway CEO Hedda Felin. “Our task was to pave the way for new innovations and enhance existing ones to align with our sustainability objectives. While some of these technologies have reached a relatively advanced stage, they still necessitate dedicated research and development to ensure successful implementation within the maritime context,” Felin continues.
Other unprecedented technologies that will be found on the cruise ship include counter-rotating propellers and multiple retractable thrusters. In addition, air lubrication, advanced hull coating and proactive hull cleaning will be used.
The Sea Zero project is not the Norwegian shipping company’s first electric ship. In 2019, Hurtigruten announced the construction of a battery-powered catamaran for day trips for polar water exploration. However, on the company’s website, this is now touted as a hybrid catamaran that has been sailing in Norway since 2021. Apart from the fact that the vessel runs for ten hours on battery power only, there are no technical details.