Hurtigruten’s Finnmarken to be converted into expedition cruise ship Otto Sverdrup

   February 20, 2021 ,   Cruise Industry

Noway's shipyard Kvaerner Kleven Verft AS received its 2nd significant contract since emerging out of bankruptcy last year. Acquired by Green Yard, the main goal was to relaunch the shipyard focusing on the growth sectors and expanding its business.

Green Yard Kleven has been awarded the contract to convert Hurtigruten’s ship Finnmarken, which was operating the traditional coastal car and passenger ferry service in Norway, into a hybrid-powered expedition cruise ship. The vessel, which was built at the Kleven shipyard back in 2002, recently returned to begin the reconstruction.

As part of the conversion into a full-time expedition ship, the yard is undertaking an extensive technical upgrade and installing a hybrid package developed by Siemens. The hybrid system features a battery pack to run in conjunction with diesel engines. The shipyard will also be installing combined shaft generators and drive motors along with frequency converters. Hurtigruten previously announced it would be converting its fleet to run entirely on biofuel and fitted the vessel with shore power capabilities in order to reduce the environmental impact.

As part of the overhaul, Finnmarken is also being renamed Otto Sverdrup, to honor the explorer who participated in a number of polar expeditions. Sverdrup, who served as a captain of the exploration Fram ship and as a captain for Hurtigruten was the first explorer to ski across Greenland.

The cruise ship is being reassigned to Hurtigruten Exploration as the cruise line proceeds with its previously announced plans to separate its cruise business from the traditional Norwegian coastal sailings.

MS Otto Sverdrup cruise ship

Kleven said it expected to complete the conversion project in the spring. The shipyard also announced it had received approval from the state administrator to commence recycling operations at the facility in Ulsteinvik (Hareidlandet Island, Norway). Green Yard, which bought the shipyard out of bankruptcy was providing recycling services and by adding them to the yard’s capabilities expects to provide a range of services to clients either to complete the lifecycle of a ship or to be able to recycle material during a reconstruction like the new assignment from Hurtigruten.