First Hybrid Cruise Ship Sails Northwest Passage
Norwegian cruise, ferry and cargo operator Hurtigruten announced that its new expedition cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen became the first battery-hybrid powered ship to ever traverse the legendary Northwest Passage last week.
As MS Roald Amundsen arrived in Nome, Alaska on September 10, 2019, Captain Kai Albrigtsen made a monumental entry in the ship’s logbook: The first complete crossing of the more than 3,000 nautical miles passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, by hybrid propulsion.
“Every expedition cruise with Hurtigruten is unique, yet this green milestone is literally making history with our guests. Only a few years ago, building cruise ships with battery packs was considered impossible; now, MS Roald Amundsen pays tribute to the great explorer she is named after by traversing one of the world’s most fabled stretches of sea by hybrid propulsion,” says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
For centuries, the renowned passage connecting East and West has spellbound ocean explorers. Norwegian polar pioneer Roald Amundsen made the first complete passage from 1903 to 1906.
“We have experienced gale winds, snow, and ice. We have also witnessed spectacular sunsets, striking scenery, and wildlife. However, what has had the biggest impact on us, is how warmly we’ve been welcomed by the local communities along the route, just as Roald Amundsen himself was. Their unparalleled hospitality is what has made this a genuinely inspirational voyage,” says Captain Albrigtsen.
Equipped with large battery packs and groundbreaking technology, MS Roald Amundsen has made global green waves in the cruise and shipping industry after she launched earlier this summer. Using batteries to support her engines, emissions are reduced by more than 20 percent.
Having traversed the Northwest Passage, MS Roald Amundsen will continue to sail further along the coast of North and South America, before spending the winter offering one-of-a-kind expedition cruises in Antarctica. In the summer of 2020, MS Roald Amundsen will then return to North America, for a series of expedition cruises in Alaska.