The 400 passenger, 42mtr long carbon fibre catamaran shares the design of sister ships Vision of The Fjords and Future of The Fjords, both sailing between Flåm and Gudvangen, but marks a move by the owners into an entirely new operating area – Norway’s capital, Oslo.
The Fjords operates 11 vessels serving Western Norway’s fjords area and exposing visitors to the sights, sensations and seasonal variations of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Nærøyfjord.
From natural to urban sightseeing opportunities
From July 2019 Brødrene Aa’s distinctive ‘Seasight’ design will be seen sailing through a completely new environment, an urban one.
‘This is a move that will surprise some in the industry, but one we see as a natural progression for this ambitious business,’ states The Fjords ceo Rolf Sandvik.
‘Oslo is very different from Flåm, but we believe it should demand the same degree of operational responsibility and environmental care – especially seeing as it is EU Green Capital of the Year 2019.’ He stated.
‘We want to set new standards for the urban environment, as we have done for the natural one, and the silent running, highly efficient, zero emission Legacy of The Fjords will allow us to do so.’
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg officially announced the plans for the vessel at the weekend when she was godmother for Future of The Fjords’ in Gudvangen. The new ship will receive support from state run organisations Enova and the NOx Fund, conceived to help enable low emission technology.
Speaking about the design Sandvik said, ‘it is optimised to provide every passenger, whatever their needs, with a premium sightseeing experience.
‘Vision and Future utilise this unique platform for accessing a landscape almost untouched by human influence. Those on Legacy, on the other hand, will see a very human landscape, but one that is embraced by nature – through the fjord and the forests – on all sides.’
Sandvik believes Legacy of The Fjords will be a major attraction for Oslo.
Investing in the future
Legacy of The Fjords will employ a specially constructed Power Dock allowing it to refill its 2.4MWh battery capacity in 20 minutes. The Power Dock bleeds energy from the local grid throughout the day - while also storing consumables, fuel and waste for collection – and in doing so avoids unsustainable, expensive power surges. Its ability to store grey and black water also ensures zero emissions to water, as well as to air.
‘This is a considerable investment’, The Fjords ceo concludes, ‘but an important one. From a growth perspective it marks a new phase for the business, but, more importantly, it also shows other operators here and around the world that it is possible to operate with the utmost environmental care, while providing sensational passenger experiences, in cities as well as natural landscapes.
The Fjords is jointly owned by tourist body Flåm AS and ferry company Fjord1. Westcon will provide the battery solution for Legacy of The Fjords.