Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

Guests will be able to enjoy panoramic views from the ship’s lounge 84 INTERVIEW On a mission for zero-emission cruising Northern Xplorer is a new cruise brand with a passion for sustainability and plans for a fully electric fleet. CEO Rolf Sandvik shares his vision with Michele Witthaus Building the world’s first zeroemission, hydrogen-powered cruise ship is no small ambition, and it is one that the Northern Xplorer brand is making a reality. “We’ve designed a ship that will carry our guests to destinations in comfort but with zero pollution, and our activities/ excursions will be sourced to have the smallest possible environmental footprint,” says Sandvik. “Our ultimate goal is to become a global company with a strong focus on making discerning guests feel welcome, and be welcomed, in the ports and destinations we visit.” Northern Xplorer collaborated with naval architects Multi Maritime, West Sea Shipyard and classification society DNV to create its prototype 250-passenger vessel with an electric propulsion system designed by ABB. The focus throughout is on sustainability. “Many might argue that simply building a ship can never be done without emissions – and they are right – but not doing so is not an alternative,” says Sandvik. “Travelling is core to learning about and understanding the planet we all share. That is the rationale behind our desire to provide an alternative travel format with a minimal footprint.” Sandvik is keen to emphasise the unique aspects that set the brand and its itineraries apart. “Northern Xplorer will not be a ‘cruise’ product, he explains, but will provide an immersive, ‘yachtlike’ experience. “We will offer zero-emission voyages on an advanced ship (featuring the latest “ We’ve designed a ship that will carry our guests to destinations in comfort but with zero pollution” Image: YSA Design/Axel Brox