Norwegian tourist ship owner and operator The Fjords has taken delivery of an all-electric catamaran that it believes sets a new benchmark for ecologically-conscious passenger transport.
Beginning in mid May, the 42-metre-long, carbon fibre Future of the Fjords will operate along the fjord route between the southwestern Norwegian villages of Flåm and Gudvangen. The area is known for its outstanding natural beauty and is included on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The $18m vessel is propelled by two 450kW electric motors, which enable cruising speeds of 16 knots along the 180-minute round trip voyage. The Fjords has also developed a novel charging solution, known as the Power Dock, along with partner Brødrene Aa.
The 40-metre by 5-metre floating dock will house a 2.4 MWh battery pack and sit in the water at Gudvangen. The battery charges via a connection to the local grid network and can subsequently ‘refuel’ Future of the Fjords in only 20 minutes.
The dock also stores fuel for sister vessels and allows black water to be offloaded for treatment on land, making Future of the Fjords the only passenger vessel not to discharge sewage directly into the Fjords.
Future of The Fjords is the sister ship to Vision of The Fjords, a diesel-electric hybrid launched on the Flåm to Gudvangen route in 2016.
“It is our mission to safeguard the vulnerable environment we give access to, while providing the absolute optimal experience for our passengers,” says The Fjords CEO Rolf Sandvik.