The first of 3x Norwegian Coastal Express cruiseferries owned by Hurtigruten is being converted from diesel to battery-hybrid propulsion. The 1993-built MS Richard With arrived at Myklebust Verft's shipyard on February 4 to start a major 7-month drydocking conversion.
The same project is to be undertaken on the sisterships Nordlys and Kong Harald, with all 3 ships back in service in 2023.
Hurtigruten Group's CEO Daniel Skjeldam said the upgrades would cut CO2 emissions by at least 25% and NOx by 80%.
MS Richard With is one of the six “contemporary” Hurtigruten ships, together with Kong Harald, Nordlys, Nordkapp, Nordnorge, Polarlys. Together with her fleetmates, Richard With serves Hurtigruten’s Norwegian Coastal Voyages (NCV) program for cruise and ferry travel by cargo-passenger ships.
Richard With cruises along Norway's coast. Most guests use the vessel as a ferry (transportation of cars and passengers) along Norway's Bergen-Kirkenes coastal route. Passengers can opt for 5-11 nights stays, with the full 12-day crossing from Bergen to Kirkenes, then going back southbound. In most ports of call are offered Hurtigruten-sponsored excursions and tours. The traditional onboard (top-deck) ceremony "Crossing the Arctic Circle" welcomes newcomers. On Hurtigruten Norwegian coastal voyages, the company offers fly-cruise package deals. Bookings are protected with ATOL Certificate. ATOL stands for "Air Travel Organisers' Licensing" (Civil Aviation Authority, UK).