First Battery-Powered Cruise Ship Takes to Sea

By ,   July 1, 2019 ,   Cruise Industry

The world’s first cruise vessel propelled partially by battery power is now set to head out from northern Norway on her maiden voyage, cruise operator Hurtigruten announced on Monday, July 1.

The hybrid expedition cruise ship, ms Roald Amundsen, can accommodate 500 passengers and is specially designed to sail in harsh climate waters. The ship is due to head for the Arctic from Tromso, Norway this week and will sail the Northwest Passage to Alaska prior to heading south, reaching Antarctica in October 2019.

MS Roald Amundsen cruise ship

While the engines of the newbuild run mainly on marine gasoil, the battery pack enables Roald Amundsen to run solely on batteries for about 45-60 minutes under ideal conditions, according to Hurtigruten Chief Executive Daniel Skjeldam.

The company estimated that the battery pack will reduce fuel consumption as well as save about 20% in carbon dioxide emissions, in comparison with the case if the vessel was operating on marine gasoil alone.

Hurtigruten expects infrastructure will improve on the traditional routes along the Norwegian coast, while now charging services are only offered in Bergen, the second-largest city in Norway.

The second hybrid cruise ship Hurtigruten has on order, to be delivered later in 2019, will have a battery pack with twice the capacity of ms Roald Amundsen.