Battery operation marks cruise sector first for Hurtigruten

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 05 July 2019


Norwegian operator Hurtigruten has chalked up an historic first after its 20,889gt, hybrid powered Roald Amundsen made 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, Roald Amundsen features ground breaking 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. Roald Amundsen is the first cruise ship equipped with batteries, something deemed impossible just a few years back.

Named after Norwegian 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, Roald Amundsen is set to honour his legacy. Naming the ship after Amundsen is particularly appropriate as apparently the explorer wrote as a 10 year old child in 1882 “In my imagination I created an electric ship that could break through all kinds of ice, that nice and elegantly, fearful and irresistible, could sail through the Arctic oceans, straight to the Pole.”

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 of the PC6 ice class vessel will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 20% compared to other ships of the same size.

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 Fridtjof Nansen, debuting in 2020. “The ship is not only one of the most advanced expedition cruise ships in the world, she is also a premium cruise ship with a number of ground breaking 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 helm as 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 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”, Albrigtsen said.

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 -the 140m Roald Amundsen will head to the extreme south for a full 2019/2020 Antarctica season.

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