Zero-emission Vessel Future of The Fjords Delivered
Norwegian tourist vessel owner and operator The Fjords has taken delivery of an innovative newbuild that sets high marks for environmentally friendly passenger transport.
The new 42-meter-long carbon fiber all-electric catamaran, Future of The Fjords, is the first vessel of its kind to offer completely emissions-free transport through the Western Norwegian landscape. Starting in mid-May, the 400-passenger vessel will sail sans emissions as it makes around 700 yearly round trips along the UNESCO World Heritage listed fjord route between Flåm and Gudvangen.
Future of The Fjords and diesel-electric hybrid sister ship Vision of The Fjords launched in 2016 are both designed and constructed by Norwegian shipyard Brødrene Aa, with hulls that mirror the zigzagging mountain paths they sail beside. But despite a similar appearance, the two vessels are very different below the surface, as The Fjords CEO Rolf Sandvik explains.
“Vision of The Fjords was an important development for us, but we had the ambition to take it one step further and replace the diesel-electric propulsion with all-electric – thus eradicating all noise and emissions to air for the entire route. Future of The Fjords does just that, minimizing its impact on the environment while maximizing the experience of passengers who can now glide silently over the water and come closer to nature than ever before.”
The NOK 144 million ($18.6 million) vessel is propelled by two 450kW electric motors, enabling cruising speeds of 16 knots along the spectacular 90 minute each way voyage. In another first, The Fjords has, in partnership with Brødrene Aa, developed a unique charging solution called the Power Dock.
This 40-meter-long, 5-meter-wide floating glass fiber dock will sit in the water at Gudvangen, housing a 2.4 MWh battery pack. This charges steadily throughout the day via connection to the local grid network, which does not have the capacity to charge the Future of The Fjords directly. The solution allows the vessel to stably, efficiently and cost-effectively ‘refill’ in just 20 minutes.
The dock also stores consumables, fuel for sister vessels, and allows black water to be offloaded for treatment on land. This makes Future of The Fjords the only passenger vessel not to discharge sewage directly into the fjords.
“Taking this delivery is a very proud day for us, and for our progressive owners Fjord1 and Flåm AS,” Sandvik said. “The Future has arrived”
“It is our mission to safeguard the vulnerable environment we give access to, while providing the absolute optimal experience for our passengers,” Sandvik noted. “With Future of The Fjords it’s mission accomplished.”
“We can’t wait to welcome our first passengers on board for the trip of a lifetime,” Sandvik concludes. “We now hope Future of the Fjords can become a benchmark for environmentally responsible vessel operators worldwide, ushering in a new breed of clean, green and spectacular passenger transport.”