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The Fjords targets Oslo with new zero-emission vessel Legacy of The Fjords

The Fjords DA has announced plans to add another all-electric passenger vessel to its award-winning fleet, with the news that Legacy of The Fjords is now under construction at Brødrene Aa.

The 400 PAX, carbon fibre catamaran shares the design of sister ships Vision of The Fjords and Future of The Fjords but marks a bold move by the owners into an entirely new operating area – the Norwegian capital, Oslo.

The Fjords operates 11 vessels serving Western Norway’s spectacular fjords area. Vision and Future are the current flagships, sailing daily between Flåm and Gudvangen and exposing visitors from around the world to the sights, sensations and seasonal variations of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nærøyfjord. It is the company’s stated mission to provide an optimal passenger experience while safeguarding the unique environments the ships give access to.

From July 2019 Brødrene Aa’s distinctive ‘SEASIGHT’ design will be seen sailing through a completely new environment, an urban one.

“This is a move that will surprise some in the industry, but one we see as a natural progression for this ambitious business,” states The Fjords CEO Rolf Sandvik. “Oslo is very different from Flåm, but we believe it should demand the same degree of operational responsibility and environmental care – especially seeing as it is EU Green Capital of the Year 2019. We want to set new standards for the urban environment, as we have done for the natural one, and the silent running, highly efficient, zero-emission Legacy of The Fjords will allow us to do so.”

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will officially announce the plans for the vessel today when she takes the role of Future of The Fjords’ Godmother in Gudvangen. Here she will confirm that the new ship will receive support from state-run organisations Enova and the NOx Fund, conceived to help enable low emission technology.

Legacy of The Fjords will, like its sister vessels, allow passengers of all mobility to literally climb the ship and experience Oslo like never before – opening their senses to the sights and sounds of the city as the hull silently slices through the fjord. Mr Sandvik says passengers will forge similarly unforgettable, yet very different, memories.

“This is a design optimised to provide every passenger, whatever their needs, with a premium sightseeing experience,” he says. “Vision and Future utilise this unique platform for accessing a landscape almost untouched by human influence. Those on Legacy, on the other hand, will see a very human landscape, but one that is embraced by nature – through the fjord and the forests – on all sides.”

Mr Sandvik continues: “Guests from around the world, from those on the many visiting cruise ships to residents of Oslo itself, can look forward to getting to know the city from an entirely fresh perspective – either from the comfort of the ship’s lounges, or from outside where they have a guaranteed one metre of railing each for a real front row view. We believe Legacy of The Fjords will be a major attraction for this dynamic, beautiful and forward-thinking city. It is a completely new, and hugely exciting, proposition.”

Legacy of The Fjords will employ a specially constructed Power Dock (an innovative, floating, charging solution originally designed for Future of The Fjords) allowing it to refill its 2.4MWh battery capacity in just 20 minutes. The Power Dock bleeds energy from the local grid throughout the day - while also storing consumables, fuel and waste for collection – and in doing so avoids unsustainable expensive power surges. Its ability to store grey and black water also ensure zero emissions to water, as well as to air.

“This is a considerable investment,” The Fjords CEO concludes, “but an important one. From a growth perspective it marks a new phase for the business, but, more importantly, it also shows other operators here and around the world that it is possible to operate with the utmost environmental care while providing sensational passenger experiences, in cities as well as natural landscapes.

“Legacy will be unique when it arrives, but it’s our hope we can provide a model for sustainable future transport - one that will inspire other responsible, visionary cities and owners to follow suit. That will be our Legacy.”

The Fjords is jointly owned by tourist body Flåm AS and Norway’s leading ferry company Fjord1. Westcon will provide the battery solution for Legacy of The Fjords.

In September Future of The Fjords won the ‘Ship of the Year’ accolade from Skipsrevyen at SMM, emulating sister vessel Vision of The Fjords, which secured the award when it launched in 2016. The SEASIGHT design received the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DOGA) Universal Design ‘Transport’ award 2017, as well as the overall 2017 DOGA Innovation prize.