Hybrid ships powered by battery technology and algae fuel could be used by Norwegian cruise line, Hurtigruten, to run expedition voyages in the future.

The vision was outlined by the company’s chief executive, Daniel Skjeldam, at the Paris climate change conference.

Hurtigruten has partnered with the Bellona Foundation, a leading Norwegian international environmental NGO, to explore how the ambition of offering zero emission explorer cruises may materialise.

The foundation is working alongside Hurtigruten to conduct a feasibility study to learn more about how the current fleet can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and how in future hybrid ships can be developed.

Skjeldam said: “The cruise and the maritime transport industries must accept greater environmental responsibility.

“Hurtigruten is already strongly committed. Rapid progress also requires appropriate political framework and the obligation from the maritime sector as a whole.”

But he called for “brave and innovative politicians” to deliver what has been achieved in the car sector in recent years.

“We need political carrots and sticks to stimulate the market in utilising green technology,” added Skjeldam.

Bellona president, Frederic Hauge, added: “We consider Hurtigruten’s reach-out to be a very credible and inspiring expression of their willingness to contribute to achieving the objective of emission-free global shipping and sea travel.”

The line’s UK and Ireland head of sales, Anthony Daniels, said: “These are exciting times for Hurtigruten. We are an ambitious business with plans for growth, but our goal is to work with the industry to deliver that in a sustainable and responsible way.”