Norwegian ferry operator The Fjords has taken delivery of Legacy of The Fjords which will join her sister ships, Vision of The Fjords
and Future of The Fjords, providing more tourists than ever an unparalleled experience in the spectacular landscapes on the west coast of Norway.
According to John Vonli, Managing Director, The Fjords, the delivery of the Legacy of The Fjords marks an important milestone for the company. “Our mission has been to share the fjord experience with as many people as possible while reducing our impact on a fragile eco-system,” he says. “With three ships powered by clean electricity now in operation, we can welcome up to 1200 visitors at a time to enjoy a unique experience without compromising the environment. It is a proud day for us and our progressive owners, Fjord1 and Flåm AS!”
Like her sister ship Future of The Fjords, Legacy of The Fjords was designed and constructed by Norwegian shipyard Brødrene Aa, with a hull that echoes zigzagging mountain paths that can be seen from her spacious decks. Both vessels are all-electric, carbon fibre catamarans offering completely emissions-free transport for up to 400 passengers through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed fjord route between Flåm and Gudvangen. The Vision of the Fjords has the same hull design but is a hybrid vessel that is also equipped with a diesel engine as well as batteries.
Vonli notes that the Servogear Ecoflow propulsion system aboard the Legacy of The Fjords is not only a zero-emissions solution, it enhances the passenger experience. “Unlike noisy diesel engines which emit exhaust, the all-electric engines found on the Legacy of The Fjords are clean and silent,” he says. “Passengers can now glide effortlessly over the water and come closer to nature than ever before.”
To create a better experience for passengers and crew alike, Legacy of The Fjords includes some refinements. For example, the vessel can be charged and loaded on both sides, and passengers can board or exit from either the port or starboard entryways. In addition, the vessel has space for three dedicated conference zones, each one equipped with projectors, screens and audio systems. “In addition to catering to companies or organisations seeking a unique place to plan events, the new layout provides a more flexible solution for docking and loading procedures,” explained Vonli.
The NOK 130 million vessel is propelled by two 450kW electric motors, enabling cruising speeds of 16 knots. Together with Brødrene Aa, the company developed a unique charging station called the Power Dock, a 40m long, 5m wide floating glass-fibre charging station in Gudvangen. The station houses a 2.4 MWh battery pack, allowing for a stable, efficient and cost-effective charging time of about 20 minutes. The dock also stores consumables, fuel for sister vessels, and allows black water to be offloaded for treatment on land.
Since it was established in 2015, The Fjords’ investments in pioneering technologies have already earned the company a lot of recognition. In 2017, the company’s first diesel electric vessel, Vision of The Fjords, won the Universal Accessibility Award from the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DOGA), for its commitment to optimal passenger accessibility, experience and environmental sustainability. And in 2018, the all-electric Future of The Fjords was named the “Ship of the Year” at SMM exhibition in Hamburg.
“Like her sister ships, the Legacy of The Fjords is truly remarkable, but we don’t build ships to win awards,” he said. “We build to enrich the passenger experience and to preserve this important UNESCO World Heritage site.”
Legacy of The Fjords is expected to enter service on 17 July, ferrying passengers between Flåm and Nærøyfjorden.