Marine

Hybrid cruise ship powers through the water on battery-power in world first

Hybrid cruise ship powers thro...
The MS Roald Amundsen is designed specifically for the frigid polar waters
The MS Roald Amundsen is designed specifically for the frigid polar waters
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The MS Roald Amundsen is designed specifically for the frigid polar waters
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The MS Roald Amundsen is designed specifically for the frigid polar waters
Hurtigruten is eyeing a greener future for its fleet
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Hurtigruten is eyeing a greener future for its fleet
Following a successful first outing, the MS Roald Amundsen will begin carrying out expeditions along the coast of Norway, the Svalbard archipelago and Greenland this local summer
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Following a successful first outing, the MS Roald Amundsen will begin carrying out expeditions along the coast of Norway, the Svalbard archipelago and Greenland this local summer
Traditional cruise ships pose all kinds of air quality problems for the cities 
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Traditional cruise ships pose all kinds of air quality problems for the cities 
Hurtigruten has been operating cruises since 1893
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Hurtigruten has been operating cruises since 1893

Traditional cruise ships pose all kinds of air quality problems for the cities that they frequent, especially in hotspots like Barcelona and Venice where locals regularly protest against the toxic particles they pump out at berth and when passing by. But Norwegian operator Hurtigruten is eyeing a greener future for its fleet, and recently achieved a maritime first by powering its hybrid MS Roald Amundsen ship through the water on battery power alone.

Hurtigruten has been operating since 1893 and today carries out expeditions all over the world. Over the next couple of years it is welcoming a couple of hybrid vessels into its fleet, with the MS Roald Amundsen the first cab off the rank.

Named after the Norwegian explorer who was first to cross Antarctica and reach the South Pole in 1911, the MS Roald Amundsen is designed specifically for the frigid polar waters and boasts the kinds of luxurious amenities you'd expect on a modern day cruise ship.

Traditional cruise ships pose all kinds of air quality problems for the cities 
Traditional cruise ships pose all kinds of air quality problems for the cities 

These include panoramic saunas, restaurants, bars, spacious observation decks, an infinity pool, private outdoor hot tubs and private balconies in more than half of the cabins. There is enough space onboard for 530 guests, and even a dedicated science center for education and entertainment.

A key point of difference, however, is that the MS Roald Amundsen cruise ship won't be powered entirely by traditional fuels such as diesel or gas. Its hybrid drivetrain enables it to lean on electricity instead for at least parts of the journey, which it's hoped will cut its carbon emissions by 20 percent. Earlier in the week the company got to put this propulsion technology through its paces for the first time.

The shiny new ship was cruising off the west coast of Norway on her maiden voyage when captain Kai Albrigtsen made the call to shut down the diesel engines and switch to electricity. At that point, the MS Roald Amundsen became the first cruise ship in the world to sail on only battery power.

Hurtigruten has been operating cruises since 1893
Hurtigruten has been operating cruises since 1893

"To captain a new ship and bring her from the shipyard is always an honor," said Albrigtsen. "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 of 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."

Following a successful first outing, the MS Roald Amundsen will begin carrying out expeditions along the coast of Norway, the Svalbard archipelago and Greenland this local summer. Voyages to the Americas will follow, with Hurtigruten then planning to offer cruises to the Antarctic aboard the MS Roald Amundsen next year.

Source: Hurtigruten

8 comments
Expanded Viewpoint
WHO in their right mind would ever think that this is a good idea?? How much of an actual "carbon footprint" does this thing have? How about all of the carbon based fuels that are needed to make the batteries? How about all of the carbon based fuels that are needed to charge those batteries back up? All this is, is some "well it makes me feel good" nonsense and self ego stroking clap trap instead of a REAL solution, like not going on a cruise ship in the first place! The hypocrisy and irony is far beyond belief!! If you want to indulge yourself and spend your time and money on a cruise ship, by all means do so and be honest about it, don't try to convince me that you're helping the environment by taking a ship that can run on electricity part of the time!! "Greener future" my aching keester! Randy
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Very soon a ship like this should run on a small modular nuclear reactor with a fully controlled life cycle.
michael_dowling
I seem to recall that they were building a fuel cell powered passenger ship which ran on cryogenically stored H2. Lots of room on a cruise ship for that arrangement.
christopher
Lots of ships use electric motors - the electricity comes from the diesel motor. It's a no-brainer to add a few batteries in the middle, and pretend it's a "hybrid". Unless you mention how MANY batteries you added, and where they get charged from - it's just bogus PR. There is noplace this can recharge - so it's 100% diesel still - the 20% co2 reduction is complete fabrication. They probably mean "20% co2 reduction while in port" (because it spewed that missing 20% on the way there)
christopher
627 kWh of batteries - enough to provide 10.5 minutes of runtime - just enough to demand a premium pricetag from tree hugging guests and splash green all over the advertising literature, but so little that it's utterly pointless in every other respect.
Jose Angel
I do not see the novelty when this has been done in the naval industry for years. Normally all large vessels usually have electric propulsion and fossil fuel generation. Many carry batteries, replacing the counterweights, which would give them some autonomy.
MichaelShortland
You lot have totally missed the point, the ship will run on batteries when in port to stop the air pollution during docking and undocking that residents have complained about. Its got nothing to do with making the passengers feel good for being on a hybrid ship! DAH
ljaques
I applaud the battery power on ships, and there are many short cruises around crowded, polluted cities which can be handled by the less polluting electric ships. FullyCharged (Brits on YouTube) have done several videos on these ships and they all sound quite promising. The Norwegians use hydropower (99%) to generate the electricity, so it's all green electricity, you naysayers. Ditto some places in the UK. Oh, the poor Greenies! They were first lied to when someone overestimated the greenness of batteries. Then they were lied to again when someone else (again) overestimated the actual carbon footprint. They just can't win. Is it because people are lying to them all the time, just to make them feel better? I wonder if they've read this: https://cleantechnica.com/2018/02/19/electric-car-well-to-wheel-emissions-myth/ . Ain't no unicorns, but it's sure better research.