Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

85 green technologies) that will make its way silently through spectacular nature, undisturbed by the noise and vibration from conventional diesel propulsion,” he says. “Our propulsion system, featuring the world’s largest battery pack, will enable the ship to sail for days, rather than hours, in fully electric zeroemission mode.” The brand’s target market for its ships, which will accommodate up to 250 guests in 125 cabins supported by approximately 100 crew, is “40-plus North Americans and Europeans who are conscious of the footprint they make when travelling,” says Sandvik. “They want to learn about, and make a positive impact on, the destinations they visit.” Sandvik says the ships will offer guests the chance to visit smaller “hidden gems” that larger cruise ships cannot access. “For us, to ‘Xplore’ means not how far you travel in terms of sheer distance, but what you discover on your travels and how that expands your horizons,” he explains. “We put great emphasis on the shore product as well as the onboard experience to deepen guests’ knowledge and provide a truly memorable journey.” To support these aims, the company will encourage meaningful connections between local residents and its ‘Xplorers’. “Sustainability and contributing in a positive way to the entire value chain lies at the core of our operation,” says Sandvik. “We are developing systems to ensure our guests will travel to and from the ship with the minimum footprint. For example, we will offer ‘Train – Sea’ instead of ‘Air – Sea’ programmes for our guests where possible. We realise that many guests will need to fly for part of their journeys but will strive to ensure travel arrangements are made utilising relevant carbon dioxide offset mechanisms.” Sandvik welcomes increasingly stringent environmental legislation in the waters where Northern Xplorer will sail. He adds: “What will be interesting too is if the infrastructure and investments required for a greener maritime industry will be forthcoming.” The first of Northern Xplorer’s ships will set sail in 2026, in readiness for new zero-emission regulations that will apply from 2026 in Norway’s popular fjords. A rendering of the first Northern Xplorer ship against the backdrop of Norway’s Dalsfjorden Image: Multi Maritime AS/Lillian Herland