Havila Polaris ferry
Former name: Barreras 1710
Specifications of Havila Polaris ferry
|Year of build||2022 / Age: 1|
|Builder||Tersan Shipyard (Yalova, Turkey)|
|Class||Norwegian coastal cruiseferry|
|Ferry route / homeports||Bergen-Kirkenes|
|Building cost||EUR 124 million / USD 131 million|
|Speed||16 kn / 30 km/h / 18 mph|
|Length (LOA)||124 m / 407 ft|
|Beam (width)||22 m / 72 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||15776 gt|
|Decks with cabins||4|
|Sister-ships||Havila Capella, Havila Castor, Havila Pollux|
|Former names||Barreras 1710|
|Owner||Havila Kystruten (via HK Ship V AS)|
|Operator||Havila Shipping (via Havila Voyages)|
Havila Polaris ferry Review
Review of Havila Polaris ferry
The 2022-built MS Havila Polaris cruise ship is the third Norwegian coastal cruiseferry operated by the Norwegian travel brand Havila Voyages (fully-owned subsidiary of HAVILA KYSTRUTEN). The shipowner is HK Ship V AS (also fully-owned by Havila Kystruten).
The ship has a max capacity of 680 passengers and 76 staff/crew. Cargo capacity is 9 cars and 190 pallets, 40 of which can be transported by freezing or cooling. The vessel will be inaugurated in 2022-Q2 (delayed due to shipyard issues) to operate year-round on Norway's coastal ferry route Bergen-Kirkenes (crossing time 7 days) stopping at 34 ports along the itinerary. This route is served by a total of 11 ships (7x by Hurtigruten, 4x by Havila) and the ferry service is government-subsidized.
The vessel IMO number 9873759) is currently Norway-flagged (MMSI tba) and registered in Bergen.
Decks and Cabins
As cruise ferry, Havila Polaris staterooms (179 total) offer 468 berths (lower and upper beds), in addition to the ship's 172 seats (for day passengers). All passenger cabins are air-conditioned, with carpet flooring, ensuite bathrooms (washbasin, WC-toilet, glass shower, mirrored cabinets, hairdryer), HDTV (wall-mounted), multiple USB ports, free WiFi, bedside tables, wall-mounted reading lamps, wardrobe, writing table with chair, 2-seater couch, electronic safe box (in the closet). The ferry company provides bed linens, towels and toiletries.
The boat has 9 decks, of which 6 are passenger-accessible and 4 with cabins.
Some staterooms are wheelchair-accessible (adapted for disabled passengers and people with reduced mobility). The cruise ship also offers "pet-friendly" cabins (with linoleum flooring). Passenger cabins are inside and outside, in both economy and luxury categories. Luxury cabins are oceanview, larger-sized, with lower fixed beds (a double convertible to twins), double sofabed (or 2-seater sofa), larger wardrobe (slide-opening), bonus amenities (mini-refrigerator, tea-coffee machine).
The ship additionally has 172 recliners (aircraft-type seats) in a Reserved Seating Lounge available for pre-booking.
Disabled passengers or those requiring specific assistance should visit the Lobby's Reception/Information Desk. All passengers must vacate their staterooms 30 min prior to port arrival.
Shipboard dining and entertainment options
As facilities, the Havila Polaris ship offers:
- Lobby Hall (Reception Desk, Luggage Lockers, Gangways/embarkation-debarkation)
- Main Dining Room (MDR) Restaurant with menus featuring traditional Norwegian food specialties prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
- Cafe Bar (Cafeteria / Patisserie / Buffet Restaurant)
- Panorama Bar Lounge is the cruise ship's observation lounge that has comfortable recliners, floor-ceiling windows, forward-facing slanted windows, a glass roof, full bar service.
- Reserved Seating Lounge offers comfortable reclining/Pullman seats and bar service.
- Duty-Free Shop is retail selling alcohol (liquors, wines, beers, also Norwegian brands), tobaccos, brand perfumes and cosmetics, sunglasses, designer watches and jewelry, clothes and accessories, electronics and gadgets, toys, confectionery, gifts and souvenirs.
- A La Carte Restaurant serves complimentary meals to passengers booked in Junior Suites (Breakfast-only) and Presidential Suites (Breakfast-Lunch-Diner).
- Conference Hall is a venue where is provided information about the cruise ship's itinerary, ports, Norwegian culture and history.
- Bow Lounge with floor-ceiling windows and access to Bow ViewPoint (forward-facing outdoor terrace).
- ATM / cash machine is located next to the Information Desk (Lobby Reception).
- WiFi coverage is shipwide.
The cruise ship has two Gyms (fitness areas with sea views) fitted with Cybex machines are arranged in front of the window so that travelers can train and watch the passing scenery at the same time. The Gym's fitness equipment includes free weights, weight benches, treadmills, exercise bikes.
An Outdoor Deck has 2 Jacuzzis. Passenger-accessible Sun Decks offer plenty of open-air spaces, including a sunbathing area (bow location) with loungers. The Cloakroom area (with a Sauna Room) is attached to two jacuzzis.
On top deck are located the Navigation Bridge and Helideck (aft-located helipad / helicopter landing area used in cases of emergency). Large parts of the ship's top-deck are covered by solar panels generating some of the onboard used electricity.
Emergency instructions are displayed in all staterooms as well as on all TV screens and assembly points (muster stations). Life jackets are issued at the assembly stations. In cases of emergency, the use of elevators/passenger lifts is forbidden. Smoking throughout the ship is forbidden.
MS Havila Polaris has only 1 garage deck (for cars and palleted cargo). Follows a list of cargo deck-related safety procedures:
- Apply handbrake and place the vehicle in park or 1st gear position. Switch off the ignition, alarm, electrical equipment, headlights. Gas cylinders, if any, must be switched off. Lock the vehicle.
- From your car take only valuables and essential hand baggage.
- Access to the cargo deck during the voyage is prohibited.
- Wait for the onboard announcement before returning to your vehicle.
- In order to avoid air pollution, don't start the engine until instructed.
Havila cruise itinerary/"Norwegian Coastal Express" ferry route
Next is the cruise ship itinerary map showing the 12-day "Norwegian Coastal Express" itinerary/ferry route operated by both Hurtigruten and Havila Voyages (since 2021).
The list of all ports along Havila's northbound "Norwegian Coastal Express" ferry route includes Bergen (turnaround port/homeport), Alesund, Floro, Geiranger (Stranda), Maloy (Vagsoy), Molde, Torvik (Heroy, Leinoya Island), Kristiansund, Rorvik (Vikna), Trondheim, Bodo, Bronnoysund (Bronnoy), Nesna, Ornes (Meloy), Sandnessjoen (Alstahaug), Stamsund (Vestvagoy Island), Svolvaer (Vagan, Austvagoya Island), Trollfjorden (Hadsel), Finnsnes (Lenvik), Harstad (Hinnoya Island), Risoyhamn (Andoy Island), Skjervoy, Sortland (Langoya Island), Stokmarknes (Hadseloya Island), Tromso, Berlevag, Hammerfest, Honningsvag (Mageroya Island, Nordkapp / North Cape), Kjollefjord (Lebesby), Mehamn (Gamvik), Oksfjord (Loppa), Batsfjord, Vardo (Vardoya Island), Kirkenes (turnaround port/homeport).
Since 2021, the shipowner Havila Kystruten (subsidiary of the 2002-founded Havila Shipping ASA, headquartered in Fosnavag, Norway) together with Hurtigruten provides regularly-scheduled and government-subsidized Norwegian Coastal ferry service between homeports Bergen and Kirkenes. Havila Kystruten's fleet consists of 4 sisterships (same-designed cruiseferries) which were built in pairs by two shipbuilders - Barreras Shipyard in Vigo Spain (Polaris and Pollux) and Tersan Shipyard in Yalova Turkey (Capella and Castor).
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Havila Polaris ferry Wiki
On March 23, 2018, Norway's Ministry of Transportation and Communications split the "Norwegian Coastal Express" ferry service between Hurtigruten and the Norwegian company Havila Shipping (Havila Kystruten Ltd). The Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen route is operated by Hurtigruten since 1893. Norwegian Government's annual subsidy for this regularly scheduled passenger shipping service is NOK 788 million (~USD 100M).
In late-December 2018 was announced that Enova (Norwegian government agency) will provide NOK 88 million (USD 10,1M) as financial support for Havila Kystruten's newbuilds (or NOK 22 million per vessel). Havila ships are from the Havyard-923 series and designed specifically for the "Norwegian Coastal Express" service. The four newbuilds are LNG-powered hybrids (alternative battery power) and passenger capacity 640 (each). The vessels were designed by "Havyard Ship Technology" (subsidiary of Havyard Group - Norwegian maritime company established in 2000, owns Loland Verft in Leirvik Norway).
Rolls-Royce Marine was contracted to provide Havila ships' power plants and propulsion units. The equipment includes 2x dual-fuel engines, 4x Bergen gas engines (two 9-cylinder, plus two 6-cylinder, all IMO Tier 3 compliant), 2x LNG tanks (with bunkering systems), 2x LNG fuel systems, control and safety systems. Ship's propulsion is also Rolls-Royce manufactured and includes 2x Azipull thrusters (with Permanent Magnet drive motors), stabilizers (Neptune 200), tunnel thrusters (allowing slimmer hull shape, better energy efficiency low noise-vibration levels). LNG fuel systems are separate, custom-designed, and serving both machine rooms (front and aft).
In late-February 2019, the Candian stock-listed company Corvus Energy was contracted by NES (Norwegian Electric Systems) for delivery and installation of world's largest ship battery-package ESS (Energy Storage System / air-cooled system with patented single-cell thermal isolation). Orca ESS (battery pack/weight 86 tons) has capacity 6,1 MWh/6100 kW per hour (double the capacity of currently largest battery-packed/electric ferries) and allows 4 hours "silent sailing". Battery power is combined with hybrid gas-electric propulsion. The powerplant consists of 4x LNG-powered marine engines (per vessel) with combined output 7,76 MW.
Another modern marine technology is the heat recovery system that also uses seawater for cooling. All Havila cruise ships are also fitted with shoreside-power capabilities, allowing them to use electricity from the city's power grid (while docked/berthed in all seaports with such capabilities) instead of running the main engines/generators.
In early-April 2019, Havila Kystruten and Kongsberg Maritime (ferry equipment's supplier) signed a 10-year contract (NOK 150 million / USD 17,6M) for "Power-by-the-Hour" service for the new cruiseferries. This Kongsberg service was introduced in 2017 with NorLines (Norwegian coastal shipping and logistics company).
- By the Havila-Kongsberg agreement, the shipowner Havila handed to Kongsberg the responsibility for the vessel's service planning and performance.
- The shipowner pays a fixed charge per hour of operation per vessel. Kongsberg monitors in real-time the equipment from land-based control centers (collecting data from shipboard sensors) where engineers can remotely access the equipment and carry out services or send out service staff to assist.
- The "Power-by-the-Hour" package also includes the ship's planned drydock-wetdock maintenance. Kongsberg's equipment package includes propulsion system (Azipull thrusters with Permanent Magnet drive motor), tunnel thrusters, stabilizers, and LNG systems (including four Rolls Royce-made Bergen C26-33L gas engines).
The ship's namesakes are the icebreaker Polaris (2016-built), the riverboat Travelmarvel Polaris (2021) and the expedition ship Viking Polaris (2022).
Havila Polaris ship's construction (IMO number 9873759, hull/yard number "BARRERAS 1710") started at Barreras Shipyard (Vigo, Spain). However, in August 2019, due to financial difficulties, the shipyard suspended all works on both Havila Kystruten-owned newbuilds (Polaris and Pollux) and in late-November 2019 canceled both orders. In late-December, both unfinished hulls were towed to Tersan Shipyard (Yalova, Turkey). The Turkish shipyard was already building Havila's other 2 ships (Capella and Castor), and the deliveries of all 4 ferries were rescheduled (for 2021-2022).
Eventually, the deliveries of the Turkey-built Polaris and Pollux were rescheduled for, respectively, 2023 January (delayed from December) and 2023 March.
In December 2022, Havila Voyages was forced to delay Polaris ship's delivery (its first 4x Norwegian coastal voyages were canceled) as it awaited a resolution of financing impacted by the EU sanctions against Russia (specifically Russian financial institutions were banned from European businesses).
Havila initially entered into an agreement with GTLK-State Transport Leasing Company (Russia's largest leasing company) to build and operate under long-term charters the four cruiseferries (Capella, Castor, Polaris, Pollux). Earlier in December, Havila won a legal case in the UK (The High Court of Justice, Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, Commercial Court in London) that settled the dispute over the debt/ownership of the vessels. In September, Havila reached terms on a EUR 370 million (USD 390 M) refinancing of the cruise fleet and for payments to Tersan Shipyard for the completion of the 3rd and 4th units (Polaris and Pollux). In addition to completing the last 2 boats, the refinancing was also used for the redemption of existing debt. The British court confirmed to meet the restrictions under the sanctions, that the payments will be made to a frozen bank account. GTLK opposed this solution but will gain access to the funds when sanctions permit. However, Havila was not able to take delivery of Polaris pending clearance of a legal settlement to the blocked Russian account.
Havila Voyages hoped to take immediate delivery of Polaris and relocate the boat from Turkey to Norway/Bergen for final outfitting. However, the maiden voyage was postponed (initially planned to depart from Bergen on December 29, 2022) to February 11, 2023. Havila Pollux's delivery was scheduled for late-March 2023.