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A ship like no other ... ​Hurtigruten introduces the world’s first electric explorer, MS Bard

Exploring some of the most pristine waters of the planet will become more eco-friendly than ever with of Hurtigruten's silent, electric-powered and emission-free catamarans.

The world leader in exploration travel has teamed up with the Norwegian startup Brim Explorer to create battery powered catamarans custom built for Polar water exploration.

MS Bard of Hurtigruten
The first renderings of Hurtigruten’s groundbreaking electric explorer catamaran MS Bard, above and below Photo: Hurtigruten

Arriving in spring of 2020, the 24-meter MS Bard will carry 140 guests on a variety of daily silent and sustainable ocean excursions from her homeport Longyearbyen on the Arctic island of Svalbard, operating under the Hurtigruten Svalbard brand.

“Brim and Hurtigruten found each other through our common passion for the oceans,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. “Their vision to change the way people experience the Arctic is a perfect match to our bold sustainability ambitions. We firmly believe the future of travel is emission-free.”

Featuring large battery packs, the hybrid catamaran will be one of the world’s most flexible electric ships. She can be charged at virtually any port and operate on batteries for 10 hours with a cruising speed of 10 knots.

MS Bard of Hurtigruten

“A green footprint is the future of the travel industry – in the Polar regions and elsewhere,” added Brim Explorer co-founder and CEO Agnes Árnadóttir. “With a great idea and dedicated partners like Hurtigruten, we have set out to build a ship unlike any the world has seen.”

Brim Explorer’s first vessel - similar to her sister that will operate exclusively under the Hurtigruten Svalbard brand - is currently under construction in Norway. Debuting in August, she will offer Hurtigruten guests travelling along the Norwegian coast truly unique excursions.

With their clean, futuristic design, both ships will feature large windows that will take guests closer to the elements - with as little impact as possible.

“At Hurtigruten, we demand that partners adapt the same, strict standards on sustainability as we follow. Like 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,” Skjeldam added.

To fully capture wildlife both above and below the surface, the explorer catamarans will also feature hydrophones and underwater drones from another Norwegian startup already partnering with Hurtigruten – Blueye Robotics. Their drones will be introduced to several of Hurtigruten’s expedition cruise ships, as well as all Brim Explorer experiences.

The introduction of the battery powered excursion catamarans is the latest in a number of Hurtigruten green initiatives. In another industry first, Hurtigruten is completely rebuilding its existing ships to run on a combination of large battery packs, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biogas (LBG) produced from organic waste such as dead fish.

Posted on 24th May 2019 at 09:28 am in Cruise News | New Ships | Cruise Lines | Hurtigruten |

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