Hurtigruten to transform vessel trio to battery-hybrid

Hurtigruten is upgrading three ships into hybrid expedition ships (MAXIMILIAN SCHWARTZ/Hurtigruten)
Three Hurtigruten coastal vessels will be transformed to hybrid-powered expedition cruise ships – which the operator says will be the largest upgrade project in its 125-year history
Hurtigruten introduced the world’s first hybrid-powered cruise ship Roald Amundsen in July this year and will add another three hybrid-powered ships to what is already considered the greenest fleet of cruise ships in the world.

As they are transformed into “full-fledged premium expedition cruise ships”, TrollfjordFinnmarken and Midnatsol will be renamed MaudOtto Sverdrup and Eirik Raude.
Otto Sverdrup will have battery packs installed during a 2020 yard stay, with a letter of intent for the same battery installation on Maud and Eirik Raude in 2021.

The three ships will also be equipped for shore power, to cut emissions to zero when docked in ports with shore power facilities.

In addition, the three ships will get substantially upgraded low-emission engines, complying with all known and upcoming regulations.

“At Hurtigruten, the push for sustainable solutions and the introduction of green technology is the core of everything we do. We operate in some of the most spectacular areas of the world. This comes with a responsibility,” Hurtigruten chief executive Daniel Skjeldam said. With these upgrades, the ships will be transformed into premium expedition cruise ships, carrying a maximum of 530 guests.

The keep-to-mast upgrades will introduce several new features and venues on the ships. A specially designed Expedition Launch – the tender pit area where guests embark on their excursions and off-ship adventures – will be added to all ships, complete with tender boats and other expedition equipment.

All cabins and suites will be completely refurbished, and new suites with spectacular views added to all three ships.
Hurtigruten’s signature Science Centre will be added to the three ships.
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Celebrating Christmas in Norway on Hurtigruten’s Finnmarken

Finnmarken

Finnmarken is one of Hurtigruten’s 11 ships that sail year-round along the Norwegian coast, round trip 12 days from Bergen to Kirkenes, making some 65 port calls ranging from 15 minutes to more than four hours.

Finnmarken

Finnmarken

The 2002-built, 15,690-ton Finnmarken can accommodate up to 740 passengers in staterooms and another 250-day passengers, as well as cargo and up to 47 cars.

Finnmarken

The current Christmas cruise includes large contingents of passengers from India and China in addition to passengers from South Africa, Australia, the UK, Germany and the United States.

Finnmarken

Winter attractions include Norway’s nature, including the Northern Lights, and shore excursions ranging from sightseeing to dog sledging, cross-country skiing and mountain hiking.

Finnmarken

The culinary experience is focused around Hurtigruten’s Coastal Kitchen concept, featuring ingredients and dishes native to Norway.

Northern Lights

(Photos by Angela Reale Mathisen and Oivind Mathisen)

New Shipyards Entering Cruise Business Face Uphill Challenge

Two new shipyards have entered the cruise ship building business recently, while an additional yard with a surprise cruise order has some passenger vessel history, but all will be facing a set of staggering challenges when it comes to building customized ships for picky clients and pulling off a flawless hotel build.

The major players in the cruise-ship building business have been going at it for decades, and most specialize in passenger vessels.

Meanwhile, major cargo-ship building yards in South Korea have tried again and again to land orders without success.

In Japan, Mitsubishi has built for local companies along with Princess Cruises and AIDA Cruises, but late deliveries and cost overruns on the recent AIDA ships have not helped the cause.

Kleven

New Hurtigruten Ship Rendering

The last time a cruise ship was built in Norway, the shipyard went bankrupt. That was just over a decade ago with the ship being The World and the shipyard Fosen Mekaniske Verksted against a backdrop of an extremely expensive labor environment.

Earlier this year, Kleven entered into a contract with Hurtigruten to build a set of expedition cruise ships earlier this year, with an option for two more. The ship’s are being built on a Rolls-Royce technical platform.

Shipyard executives declined to speak on the record, but the yard’s website said Kleven was a family-owned operation dating back many decades.

The yard’s recent deliveries show no shortage of supply and platform vessels for the offshore industry, in addition to Coast Guard ships.

A log of ship deliveries back to 1961 shows everything from fish vessels to tug boats, with the last passenger vessel being the Finnmarken, which was built in 2002 for coastal service. The yard has only built three (coastal) passenger ships.

Uljanik Group

Scenic Elipse

In Croatia, Uljanik Group will build its first cruise ship for a new entry to the cruise ship market in Scenic.

The agreement calls for a five-star level expedition ship to be delivered in August of 2018, with an option for a second vessel. The ship is 16,500 tons with capacity for 228 guests.

In 2015 the yard delivered a 3,311-ton ro/ro ferry, the second in a two-ship order. However, the yard mainly builds barges and other supply vessels, but did deliver a series of car carriers as recently as 2008.

The Croatian builder can trade its history back to 1856, when it started out building ships for the Austro-Hungarian Navy.

In 2013, the yard added another facility and building site, 3.Maj, to its portfolio, which has upped its capacity.

The group also owns an engine factory, ULJANIK Diesel Engines Factory Ltd, and has recently delivered a number of large tanker vessels.

Brodosplit

New Star Clippers vessel

Another Croatian yard, Brodosplit, landed an order from Star Clippers for a sailing ship, and is believed to be working toward a separate order for smaller niche vessels.

Of note, the yard has built new motor vessel ships for Grand Circle Cruise Line over the years.

The shipyard is located in Split, Croatia, and was formed when several smaller ship repair facilities combined forces in 1922. The yard builds various types of ships including commercial, container and passenger vessels.

The new Royal Flyer for Star Clippers will be 162 meters long and 18.5 meters wide, and feature five masts and sails.

While it is a sailing ship, the vessel will have two fully independent electric propulsion engines and be compliant with Safe Return to Port rules with two engine rooms.