Weeks before its 130th anniversary, Hurtigruten Norway revealed its ambitious plans for the world’s first zero-emission cruise ship. Known as the ‘Sea Zero’ project, this groundbreaking initiative aims to create the most energy-efficient and sustainable cruise ship ever.
Pioneering Sustainability in the Cruise Industry
The ‘Sea Zero’ project, a collaboration between Hurtigruten Norway, 12 maritime partners, and research institute SINTEF, is committed to achieving emission-free marine travel. The consortium has spent a year researching energy-efficient and carbon-neutral technology solutions, paving the way for new innovations.
The cruise line’s focus on sustainable operations tailored to the Norwegian coast led to plans for smaller, custom-built ships with zero emissions. By 2030, the first ship will be ready, and Hurtigruten Norway aims to transform its entire fleet into zero-emission vessels, significantly improving the industry’s sustainability record.
Innovative Technologies for an Eco-Friendly Voyage
Hurtigruten Norway’s future ships will be electric, powered by batteries that charge in port. The vessels will feature revolutionary technologies not found on typical cruise ships, such as retractable sails with solar panels, artificial intelligence maneuvering, contra-rotating propellers, and multiple retractable thrusters. Air lubrication, advanced hull coating, and proactive hull cleaning will further enhance the ships’ energy efficiency.
The onboard experience will focus on guest comfort, with the ship’s streamlined shape reducing air resistance and energy consumption. Guests will also play an active role in energy conservation through an interactive mobile app that allows them to control cabin ventilation and monitor their water and energy consumption.
Sea Zero has entered a two-year phase of testing and further development to ensure the final zero-emission ship becomes a reality. The project aims for a 50% reduction in energy consumption compared to current ships, with the current research phase focusing on battery production, propulsion technology, hull design, and sustainable practices.
While Hurtigruten Norway works towards its zero-emission ship, the company is also undergoing an extensive environmental upgrade of its existing fleet. Two ships have already been upgraded to battery-hybrid-powered vessels, with plans to upgrade a third soon. The remaining ships are being equipped with technologies that will significantly reduce CO² emissions and NOx.
Hurtigruten Norway’s commitment to environmental responsibility and innovation is setting a new course for the cruise industry. With a focus on energy efficiency and eco-friendly practices, the company is leading the way towards a greener tomorrow for marine travel.