Science, innovation & technology

As we enter a new era of adventure travel driven by sustainability, Hurtigruten is committed to setting new standards for the industry to follow. Hurtigruten’s ultimate goal is to operate our ships completely emission-free.

By introducing the world’s first hybrid powered cruise ships, we are taking a large step. And by retrofitting existing ships with large battery packs and LNG engines, we are getting even closer.  

Fighting climate change through innovation

There are more than 300 cruise ships in the world. Daily emissions from one single cruise ship can be equivalent to one million cars. This needs to change.

  • Fighting climate change through innovation

    Hurtigruten’s revolutionary hybrid powered ships are the backbone of what will be the world’s greenest expedition cruise fleet. They have been named after legends of the golden age of Polar exploration. This is no coincidence. Hurtigruten traces our roots back to the great polar heroes and has explored some of the most spectacular and demanding waters of our planet since 1893.

    Driving technology and innovation has helped us overcome every obstacle we have faced since, and now climate change is facing us with another huge challenge that must be overcome.  Our response is new technology and innovation.

    Building on our 125 years of pioneering heritage, our new ships will be equipped with large battery packs to significantly cut emissions. In addition, the ships are packed with cutting-edge green technology, environmental solutions, and improved hull and bow design.  

  • MS Nordlys heading towards Urke in Hjørundfjord
    Photo: Aslak Tronrud Photo

    Historical green upgrade

    Being the world leader in green adventure travel, our urge to improve has made us introduce another groundbreaking industry-first:

    Hurtigruten is refitting a number of our existing ships from traditional diesel engines to hybrid power - combining liquified natural gas (LNG), bio gas (LBG) and battery packs. This huge green upgrade program allows us to optimize the full use of clean battery power and LNG – the greenest fuel currently available for shipping. The use of efficient LNG engines alone will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 25 percent compared to 2015 levels. NOx emissions will be reduced by a whopping 90 percent.

  • Research, innovation, cooperation & monitoring

    In our quest for greener travel, Hurtigruten cooperates with a number of technology-driven companies. From global players to local startups, Hurtigruten is determined to raise the standards and move borders. As we have done with the Norwegian startup Blueye Robotics, adding underwater drones – and literally opening new horizons for our guests.   

    Hurtigruten also has a long history of participating in programs to monitor and analyse the waters and areas we operate in. Together with our guests we are involved in important research, from registration of polar bears on Svalbard and logging seawater temperature along the Norwegian coast, to oil surveillance and Antarctic research.

    Since 1932, Hurtigruten has been measuring sea temperature, salinity levels and algae growth as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Norwegian Institute for Marine Research and the Norwegian Institute for water research. 80 years ago, we threw a bucket overboard to collect samples to bring home. Now, we collect precise water measurements using the sophisticated sensor system Ferrybox. The data collected by Ferrybox is transferred via satellite to NIVA and used by reseachers to monitor natural variability in the ocean and human impacts on the oceans, including climate change. 

    Ocean Visuals is a system currently installed onboard MS Trollfjord. With the advanced laser equipment, we continuously monitor the ocean for oil spillages. MS Trollfjord and MS Midnatsol have made 5 million measurements so far, identifying more than 40 incidents of oil spillages and two leaks from installations on shore. The Norwegian Coastal Administration is notified immediately of such instances. All data from Ocean Visuals is collected and is made open source for anyone to review and research.

    We take part in enhancing the areas we sail in by contributing to citizen science. For example, at Svalbard we take part in the Norwegian Polar Institute project for registration of marine mammals in the Arctic (Marine Mammal Sightings Data Base). The data improves our overall understanding of habitat use and seasonal movement patterns.

  • Advancing shore power

    When connected to shore power, our emissions are reduced to zero. Our entire fleet sailing the Norwegian coast will be retrofitted with this capability by 2021. Shore-based electricity has enormous positive effects. The new shore-based electricity facility in the port of Bergen alone, will reduce our NOx emissions by 2.5 tons and CO2 emissions by 150 tons per ship, every year.

    The combination of battery packs and shore-based power will reduce CO2 emissions by a further 8 percent.

  • Caring for the sea

    Our vessels produce their own fresh water through onboard desalination and purification technology. We reuse heat from engine coolant and the vessels´ exhaust systems to warm up the hot water tanks on board. By doing so, we save power equivalent to the consumption of 6700 households per year. We have also introduced new automatic technology to reduce food waste, as part of our sustainability and waste programs.

    We work to maintain stringent policies regarding discharge into the sea, including a ban on discharging food waste, grey water, bilge water and black water in Hjørundfjorden, Geirangerfjord/Storfjorden and Lyngenfjorden - and other vulnerable areas. 

  • Photo: Marsel van Oosten Photo

    Banning heavy fuel oil

    With leading environmental agencies such as Clean Arctic Alliance and European Climate Foundation, Hurtigruten is spearheading a campaign to ban the use of HFO in Arctic waters. After operating in these waters for 125 years, we see no other option. It does not make sense to bring more pollution, more risk, to areas that need less. 

    If you are one of our competitors, we invite you to sign the Arctic Commitment  and join our struggle to make operating on Heavy Fuel oil in Arctic waters illegal.

  • Through our years of experience in the Arctic and Antarctic waters, we have seen the effects and impact of climate change on wildlife and nature – as it has happened.

    The shipping industry is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Especially SOx, NOX and CO2. In addition, other pollutants such as particulate matter and black carbon contribute to global warming and environmental damage in other ways. We must all do a lot better.

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