Exploration travel operator Hurtigruten will debut MS Bard, an electric-powered, emission-free catamaran custom-built for short voyages from Svalbard beginning in 2020.
The silent 24-meter vessel, deployed via a partnership with Norwegian firm Brim Explorer, will operate daily excursions from her homeport in Longyearbyen on the island of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean under the Hurtigruten Svalbard brand.
The hybrid catamaran features large battery packs company officials say can be charged at “virtually any port.” The vessels operate for 10 hours per charge and reach a cruising speed of 10 knots.
Prior to MS Bard’s launch, Brim Explorer will debut its first vessel for Hurtigruten, currently under construction in Norway.
The 140-passenger vessel will debut in August and offer Hurtigruten guests traveling along the Norwegian coast custom excursions including spring and summer exploration of Lofoten Islands and winter northern lights voyages departing from Tromsø, Norway.
Both ships will feature “clean, futuristic” designs and large windows designed to place guests closer to the region’s magnificent natural landscape.
“As Hurtigruten, Brim is challenging the industry to move in a greener direction. Together we can offer an experience that is truly unique and sustainable – both for our guests and the communities and areas we visit, David Skjeldam, Hurtigruten’s CEO.
“We have created the first sightseeing vessel in the world able to operate a full day on electric power, and we look forward to using our knowledge to move the travel industry in a greener direction together with Hurtigruten,” said Agnes árnadóttir, Brim Explorer’s co-founder and CEO.
The new catamarans will feature hydrophones and underwater drones provided by Blueye Robotics, another Norwegian startup partnering with Hurtigruten. The drones will be utilized aboard all Brim Explorer excursions and on several of Hurtigruten’s expedition cruise ships.
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