Hurtigruten introduces electric catamarans for Arctic travel

Hurtigruten introduces electric catamarans for Arctic travel
The electric catamarans aim to give passengers an environmentally sensitive arctic adventure (Image: Hurtigruten)

Norwegian cruise and ferry operator Hurtigruten has joined with ocean adventure firm Brim Explorer to create electric catamarans for gentle travel around the sensitive Arctic region. 

The 78-foot battery-powered vessels are set to sail from the port of Longyearbyen, Svalbard when they enter service in early 2020. They will operate under Hurtigruten subsidiary Hurtigruten Svalbard, which also runs hotels, restaurants and activities on the Norwegian archipelago. 

“Brim and Hurtigruten found each other through our common passion for the oceans,” said Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten. “Their vision to change the way people experience the Arctic is a perfect match for our bold sustainability ambitions. We firmly believe the future of travel is emission free.” 

The hybrid catamarans will feature large battery packs that are able to recharge at almost any port to provide fully electric operations for up to 10 hours. They will also be fitted with large windows and use Blueye Robotics’ underwater drones to bring all 140 onboard passengers closer to their surroundings, with as little impact as possible. 

“By combining green technology, clean Nordic design and a focus on sustainable travel, we have created the first sightseeing vessel in the world that is able to operate a full day on electric power,” said Árnadóttir. “We look forward to using our knowledge to help move the travel industry in a greener direction, together with Hurtigruten.” 

Hurtigruten and Hurtigruten Svalbard will continue to work with Brim Explorer to further develop the green technologies they use, such as using solar panels to charge the batteries while sailing under the 24-hour Arctic sun. 

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Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts
17 May 2019

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