Future of the Fjords Sightseeing Vessel, Norway


Future of the fjords

The Future of the Fjords is a new all-electric sight-seeing vessel being built by Brødrene Aa for Norwegian marine transportation company, The Fjords. The vessel is scheduled to be operational in April 2018.

The emission-free vessel will join its sister ship, the Vision of the Fjords, which was inducted into service in 2016. It will cost approximately $17m (NOK 144m), which is 60% more than its predecessor.

The shipbuilding programme is being funded by The Fjords, while Enova, owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, also sourced $2.1m (NOK 17.8m) to support the construction of the vessel.

The vessel's construction began in May 2017 and is scheduled for completion in early 2018. The 40m-long vessel will carry up to 400 tourists in the fjord between Flam and Gudvangen, which is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Design and features

The vessel is being built using light-weight carbon-fibre composite materials to reduce energy consumption as well as the power and battery capacities.

The hull and superstructures will feature lightweight carbon sandwich laminates, resulting in approximately 50% weight reduction. The state-of-the-art catamaran design will also reduce waves and washes on the exposed shores of the narrow fjords.

The exterior will enable the passengers to walk around the vessel, while enjoying the spectacular views of the fjords. Approximately 80% of the exterior will be open to the occupants. The unique exterior design will offer a front-row viewing space for all 400 passengers aboard.

The interior design aims to create a relaxing environment. The natural materials and tone-down colours to be used in the vessel will connect it with nature. All furniture will be custom-built for the vessel.

The vessel will offer passenger accommodations on two decks. It will feature large panoramic windows, seating in different arrangements, a refined restaurant, and a large refreshment kiosk on the main deck.

In addition to the innovative propulsion system, the vessel will also integrate upgraded IT systems to enhance digital services for passengers.

The Future of the Fjords will have an overall length of 40m and a width of 15m.

Capacities of Future of the Fjords

The vessel will have storage tanks capable of holding 3,000l of fresh water, 2,000l of grey water, 3,000l of sewage and 100l of bilge water. The bunker, discharge and charging stations will be positioned on the starboard side.

"The vessel will have storage tanks capable of holding 3,000l of fresh water, 2,000l of grey water, 3,000l of sewage and 100l of bilge water."

Propulsion

The catamaran vessel will be powered by two electric motors driving Servogear Ecoflow propellers through two Servogear HD220H gearboxes. Each electric motor will be able to generate a power output of 450kW at 1,180rpm. The Servogear controllable-pitch propeller system will offer an optimal combination of manoeuvrability, speed and bollard pull.

The compact propeller will have a diameter of 1,475mm, while the diameter of the propeller shaft will be approximately 100mm. The propulsion system will reduce noise and vibrations, NOx and CO² emissions, while improving fuel efficiency. The feathering position capabilities of the system will further minimise resistance and speed loss.

The motors will be controlled by the eSEAmatic Blue energy management system supplied by Westcon Power & Automation. Westcon is also responsible for delivering the e-SEA® Drive power conversion and manouevring control systems, batteries, an integrated automation solution, and main switchboards for the vessel.

The advanced charging station will be capable of charging the batteries with approximately 800kWh of power during the 20min docking period. The propulsion system will enable the vessel to sail at a cruise speed of 16kt.