23 February 2024
Norwegian start-up Northern Explorer has announced the launch of the advanced eco-friendly zero emission vessels. Features of the vessels to provide the ultimate experience of sustainable transportation will be based on clean technologies.
Northern Xplorer’s aim is to provide a full experience around the Nordic countries in the most sustainable way.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sites are located on the solely natural location of Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord in Fjord Norway. The unique landscape and exceptional natural beauty of these places are distinguishing them from any other location. However, tourism has increased in the past years. The world Heritage Council predicts a 40 to 60% increase in tourist traffic in the Norwegian World Heritage sites by 2030. As a result, the Norwegian government announced new regulations. Therefore, zero emissions will be mandatory from 2026 for vessels cruising around Norwegian World Heritage Fjords. Additionally, from 2030 this regulation is going to get into force to all Norwegian fjords.
The current plan is aiming for a series of 14 ships accommodating up to 300 passengers in 150 cabins. Supported by approximately 100 crew. The first intention for the zero emission vessels is to begin the operation in 2024/2025. Well in advance of the 2026 zero emission regulations affecting Norway’s world heritage fjords.
- Fully electric propulsion
- Battery energy storage
- Hydrogen fuel cells
- Auxiliary renewable energy supply (wind and solar power)
Sophisticated Systems Onboard
- HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) sophisticated systems. Therefore, these systems will lead to less noise, higher efficiency, and the reduction of disease-causing microorganisms.
- LADAR (Laser Detection And Ranging) advanced technology will be equipped as well. Thus, these systems can detect marine plastic residues and increase awareness of maritime pollution.
It is not just the ships and technologies that Northern Xplorer will sustainably offer. In addition, the vessels incorporate a luxurious design and provide to their guests a variety of attractions. Northern Explorer will provide opportunities to travel off the beaten track.
“It will bring passengers to unique places in the Nordic region in a personal way”Rolf André Sandvik, CEO, Northern Xplorer
Besides the amazing nature, other facilities will contribute as well to make the experience special. Such as interaction with local communities through arts and crafts, architecture, music and lifestyle, and social dining in small groups.
Power & Fuel Supply
Although electricity and hydrogen supply from the shore will be necessary within short distances, it can provide other comforts. Larger cruise ships may have a longer range, but they cannot bring the guests ashore on places that Northern Explorer can.
“The overall purpose of the cruise is not just to give the guest quick visits to tourist hot spots. Instead of giving them the chance to be more engaged with the local communities.”Rolf André Sandvik, CEO, Northern Xplorer
Sandvik is a master mariner with vast experience on cruise lines NCL and Crystal Cruises. For many years he was also VP in Detitanation Development. Moreover, he was the man that developed the first emission-free passenger vessel in his native country’s heritage fjords. In 2016, Vision of the Fjords was built. It was the first hybrid-powered vessel that began to operate at this time. In 2018, the Future of Fjords was built which was the first fully electric vessel operating in the country.
“We want to ‘walk the talk’ on green maritime innovation. Scaling up what we needed at The Fjords to sustainable cruising on brand-new vessels compliant with the strictest global regulations is, I believe, the best way to show discerning visitors the amazing nature and breadth of culture we have up here in Northern Europe,”Rolf André Sandvik, CEO, Northern Xplorer