Hurtigruten cruise ship first ever to sail on battery power

Hurtigruten’s hybrid-powered MS Roald Amundsen made maritime history as the first cruise ship in the world to sail purely on battery power.

The moment – when the brand new expedition cruise ship moved through the water silent and completely emission-free, powered by her large battery packs only - was captured off the west coast of Norway.

Specially designed for some of the most spectacular waters of the planet, MS Roald Amundsen features groundbreaking green technology such as the large battery packs which was put to the test as she left Kleven Yard for her maiden voyage.

“This opens a new chapter in maritime history. MS Roald Amundsen is the first cruise ship equipped with batteries, something deemed impossible just a few years back. With the introduction of MS Roald Amundsen, Hurtigruten sets a new standard not only for cruising but for the entire shipping industry to follow,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said.

Named after polar hero Roald Amundsen - who led the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage, the first expedition to the south pole and the first expedition proven to have reached the North Pole - MS Roald Amundsen is set to honour his legacy.

Starting this summer, the hybrid-powered cruise ship will explore some of the most spectacular areas of the planet using the battery packs to support her low-emission engines. The hybrid propulsion will reduce CO2 emissions with more than 20% compared to other ships of the same size.

The stunning scenery will be reflected in a modern Scandinavian design - with features spanning from the high-tech Amundsen Science Center, vast observation decks, an infinity pool, panoramic sauna, wellness center, three restaurants, bars, Explorer Lounge, aft-facing suites with private outdoor hot tubs, and the laidback atmosphere that creates the special Hurtigruten on board feel.

“MS Roald Amundsen is designed and built with sustainability at the core of every little detail. In addition to the green technology, this makes her the first cruise ship in the world designed to be single-use plastic free. Sustainability will also be an integral part of the guest experience. From the hand-picked Hurtigruten Expedition Team to the industry-first Science Center, we will give the guests a deeper understanding of the areas we explore,” Mr Skjeldam said.

Hurtigruten took delivery of the world’s first hybrid-powered cruise ship from Norway’s Kleven yard last week. She has been built alongside sister ship MS Fridtjof Nansen, debuting in 2020.

“In the world of shipbuilding, some projects stand out. This is one of them. MS Roald Amundsen is not only one of the most advanced expedition cruise ships in the world, but she is also a premium cruise ship with a number of groundbreaking solutions. We are extremely proud of the ship, which is the result of a tremendous team effort of the Kleven employees and our sub-contractors,” Kleven Project Manager Asbjørn Vattøy said.

Highly experienced Hurtigruten captain Kai Albrigtsen was at the helm as MS Roald Amundsen left the yard for her maiden voyage along the Norwegian coast.

“To captain a new ship and bring her from the shipyard is always an honour. With MS Roald Amundsen being a green pioneer, makes this moment truly special to me and the rest of the crew. I am extremely impressed with the ship, the technology and how she handles. Now, we are all really looking forward to welcoming the first guests on board and create life-long memories together,” Mr Albrigtsen said.

Captain Kai Albrigtsen will be at the helm on MS Roald Amundsen’s maiden voyage. Photo: MAXIMILIAN SCHWARZ/Hurtigruten

MS Roald Amundsen’s maiden season includes expedition cruises along the Norwegian coast, to Svalbard and Greenland, before becoming the first hybrid-powered ship to attempt a traverse of the legendary Northwest Passage – following in the wake of the namesake explorer Roald Amundsen’s famed expedition.

In addition to eco-friendly expedition cruises along the west coast of North- and South-America - with destinations bigger cruise ships cannot reach - MS Roald Amundsen will head to the extreme south for a full 2019/2020 Antarctica season.