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hurtigruten's roald amundsen
Roald Amundsen is pictured during its stint of sailing on battery power alone, off the coast of Norway PHOTO: Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen goes boldly on battery power

Hurtigruten’s hybrid powered newbuild Roald Amundsen has become the first cruise ship in the world to sail purely on battery power.

The moment — when the newly delivered expedition ship moved through the water silently and completely emission free, powered by large battery packs — took place off Norway's west coast.

Roald Amundsen's groundbreaking green technology was put to the test as the ship left Kleven Verft for its maiden voyage.

New chapter in maritime history

'This opens a new chapter in maritime history,' Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said. With this, he added, 'Hurtigruten sets a new standard not only for cruising, but for the entire shipping industry to follow.'

Other ships have used batteries to power some limited electrical needs on board, but this is the first time batteries have been used for a cruise vessel's propulsion.

20% CO2 reduction, no single-use plastic

Starting this summer, the hybrid powered ship will explore some of the most spectacular areas of the planet using the battery packs to support its low-emission engines. This will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 20% compared to other ships of the same size.

Roald Amundsen also enters service free of single-use plastic.

'In the world of shipbuilding, some projects stand out. This is one of them,' Kleven project manager Asbjørn Vattøy said. 'MS Roald Amundsen is not only one of the most advanced expedition cruise ships in the world, she is also a premium cruise ship with a number of groundbreaking solutions. We are extremely proud of the ship, which is the result of a tremendous team effort of the Kleven employees and our subcontractors.'

Highly experienced Hurtigruten captain Kai Albrigtsen was at the helm as Roald Amundsen left the yard for its maiden voyage along the Norwegian coast.

'To captain a new ship and bring her from the shipyard is always an honor. With MS Roald Amundsen being a green pioneer, makes this moment truly special to me and the rest of the crew,' Albrigtsen said. 'I am extremely impressed with the ship, the technology and how she handles. Now, we are all really looking forward to welcoming the first guests on board to create life-long memories together.'

Far-flung maiden season itineraries

Roald Amundsen’s maiden season includes expedition cruises along the Norwegian coast, to Svalbard and Greenland, before becoming the first hybrid powered ship to attempt a traverse of the legendary Northwest Passage, following in the wake of the ship's namesake explorer Roald Amundsen’s famed expedition.

The vessel will also sail along Pacific coast of North and South America before operating a full 2019/20 Antarctica season.