Hurtigruten Group has hailed a planned upgrade of its Norwegian Coastal Express ships which is claims will reduce CO2 emissions by at least 25%.
As part of the plans, the company’s seven Coastal Express vessels will undergo major green upgrades by 2023, with a focus on battery usage, shore power and biofuel.
Three ships – MS Richard With, MS Nordlys and MS Kong Harald – will fully transform to battery-hybrid power, with installation of new low-emission engines and large battery packs.
All seven ships have already been fitted to allow shore connectivity.
Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express is a sister company to Hurtigruten Expeditions, which operates expedition cruises.
Group chief executive Daniel Skjeldam said: “Our goal is to operate all our ships and all our cruises completely emission-free. While we get one step closer day-by-day, we cannot sit idle and wait for the technology to be in place.
“We are working closely with our partners do drive change, move boundaries while we at the same time utilise the best solutions available already today.”
Certified biofuel will be introduced across the Coastal Express fleet as its ships return to service this year, while Hurtigruten Expeditions will also start trials with biofuel on selected ships and selected itineraries in 2021.
Hurtigruten Expeditions has already launched the world’s first battery-hybrid-powered cruise ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen.
It is also transforming MS Finnmarken (pictured) to the battery-hybrid powered expedition cruise ship MS Otto Sverdrup, with large battery packs and advanced green technology.