Cruise NewsHurtigrutenFirst of Its Kind Battery Powered Cruise Ship to Sail the Antarctic

First of Its Kind Battery Powered Cruise Ship to Sail the Antarctic

MS Roald Amundsen hurtigruten
Hurtigruten’s battery powered cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen. Photo Credit:

In an effort to reduce fuel consumption, a 20,889 ton expedition ship named MS Roald Amundsen will be utilizing battery power.

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Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten is employing technology previously thought impossible.  This is the first time a hybrid fuel technology will be used on a ship of this size.

The expedition ship is 459 feet long and will carry over 500 guests on voyages to some of the coldest climates in the world.

Because of the ship’s massive battery packs the vessel will be able to use less gasoil and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 20%.

Hurtigruten’s CEO, Daniel Skjeldam said this ship will open a new chapter in maritime history.

“MS Roald Amundsen is the first cruise ship equipped with batteries, something deemed impossible just a few years back. With the introduction of MS Roald Amundsen, Hurtigruten sets a new standard not only for cruising, but for the entire shipping industry to follow.”

According to Reuters, “The ship’s battery pack enables it to run solely on batteries for around 45 to 60 minutes under ideal conditions.”

So how does it work?  When the ship’s engines create more energy than the ship needs this excess power charges the battery packs instead of being wasted.  Then the battery packs can send this power right back to the engines.

Not many ports provide charging stations for battery-powered vessels like this.  And with some itineraries lasting up to 3 weeks it is not yet possible for the ship to be solely reliant on battery power.

Hurtigruten offers a majority of its sailings along the coast of Norway.  Bergen, Norway’s 2nd largest city, is one of the only ports that does offer a battery charging station.

MS Roald Amundsen is the first of two hybrid ships the company will be adding to its fleet and will sail the Northwest Passage to Alaska before heading south, reaching Antarctica in October.

Watch a video walk through of the ship below:

MS Roald Amundsen was named after polar hero Roald Amundsen, who led the first expedition to navigate the Northwest Passage.  This was the first expedition to the South Pole and the first expedition proven to have reached the North Pole.

The hybrid expedition ship will feature a high-tech Science center that will allow passengers to delve deeper into the natural world through microscopes, visual-aid lectures, video screens and hands-on learning apparatuses.

There is even an underwater drone that explores around the waters of the ship and sends the video feed back for cruise passengers to enjoy.

science center hurtigruten
Science Center on Roald Amundsen. Photo Credit:

Featuring three restaurants, an Explorer Lounge, observation decks, a gym and Wellness Center, a sauna with panoramic window, an infinity pool, two hot tubs, aft-facing suites with private outdoor hot tubs, this vessel will afford passengers some luxury while exploring the frigid climates.

The 7 story LED screen on the ship is the tallest at sea as well, underscoring the technology involved in creating this ship.

“MS Roald Amundsen was designed and built with sustainability at the core of every little detail. In addition to green technology, she is the first cruise ship in the world designed to be single-use plastic free. Sustainability will also be an integral part of the guest experience: From the hand-picked  Expedition Team who will share their knowledge of sustainable practices in the regions visited to the industry-first Science Center where our team will gather for lectures and workshops, we will give our  guests a deeper understanding of the areas we explore,” Hurtigruten’s CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

MS Roald Amundsen Facts:

  • Large battery packs and groundbreaking green technology
  • Built: Kleven Yards, Norway, 2019
  • Gross tonnage: 20,889
  • Length: 459 ft
  • Breadth: 8 ft
  • Draft: 17 ft
  • Guests: 530
  • Cabins: 265
  • Crew: 151
  • Cruising speed: 15 knots
  • Flag: Norwegian
  • Ice class: PC-6

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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon is the co-founder of Cruise Fever and has been on 50+ cruises since his first in 2009. As an editor, 15-year writer on the cruise industry, and avid cruise enthusiast he has sailed with at least 10 cruise lines and is always looking for a great cruise deal. Jon lives in North Carolina and can be reached at [email protected].
Cruise NewsHurtigrutenFirst of Its Kind Battery Powered Cruise Ship to Sail the Antarctic

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