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A Zero-Emission Cruise Ship Could Set Sail by 2030

Hurtigruten Norway has released the design and specs for its first zero-emission cruise ship, which should sail along Norway's coast starting in 2030. VARD Design

Hurtigruten Norway reveals ambitious plans, sleek design for new all-electric vessel.

Get ready for the Tesla Model S of cruise ships. This month, sustainable-expedition leader Hurtigruten unveiled its plans for a zero-emission, all-electric vessel set to sail along Norway’s coast in 2030. Not only is the new design super-sleek, but its plans call for the longest battery power of any ship to date, with the potential to travel up to 350 nautical miles (around 400 miles) between charges. That’s the same range as the 2023 Model S, only in a 443-foot, 500-passenger vessel.

“We’re committed to delivering a ship that surpasses all others in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability within just a few years,” Hurtigruten CEO Hedda Felin says of her company’s ambitious “Sea Zero” initiative. Hurtigruten introduced hybrid-battery power on its ships in 2019, and after committing to its first all-electric model, the cruise line plans to convert the rest of its fleet to become entirely emissions-free across expeditions. That places it at the top of a small cadre of European leaders in sustainable cruising.

Hurtigruten's concept ship includes three 164-foot sails lined in 16,000 square feet of solar panels. VARD Design

The vessel will be able to run fully off-grid by utilizing its own renewable energy sources, and it will also dock at stations powered by renewables along the Norwegian coast. In addition, travelers will be able to monitor their own water and energy use with the help of a mobile app. Furthering its part, Hurtigruten has set a goal of halving daily energy consumption shipwide.

The big question: Will the announcement kick off a race among competitors to achieve zero-emission expeditions by 2030? “While we’re at the forefront of sustainability within the cruise industry, we’ve been very vocal that the whole industry has to step up its efforts and do much more,” says Anders Lindström, Hurtigruten’s head of communications in the Americas. “Only collectively can we truly lower emissions.”

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