Hurtigruten Norway has embarked on a project to upgrade its seven Norwegian Coastal Express ships with various sustainable features.

The vessels will feature ‘modern’ technology that is expected to reduce CO₂ emissions by 25% and NOx emissions by 80%.

This ship upgrade project is slated to be finished next year.

Hurtigruten Norway CEO Hedda Felin said: “This is the largest environmental upgrade in Hurtigruten’s history, and one of the largest of its kind in Europe. This will make a real impact in reducing emissions in Norwegian waters.

“The fact that such an investment also leads to ripple effects in the local communities along the coast, is something we are very proud of.”

Of the seven vessels, three ships will be transformed into hybrid ships.

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The first ship, MS Richard With, will be equipped with new main engines and battery packs.

This vessel is currently at Myklebust Yard in northwestern Norway.

MS Kong Harald and MS Nordlys will undergo the same upgrade.

Meanwhile, MS Nordnorge, MS Nordkapp and MS Polarlys will be fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) facilities.

In 2019, MS Vesterålen, the last ship in the fleet, was modernised with new engines as well as SCR facilities.

Hurtigruten Norway has turned to Kongsberg Maritime for the conversion of the ships.

Kongsberg Maritime will execute the design work and upgrades on MS Richard With, MS Nordlys and MS Kong Harald.

Myklebust Yard has been commissioned to modernise the first two vessels.

All ships in Hurtigruten Norway’s fleet already feature shore power convertibility, which helps remove emissions in ports providing shore power.

For eliminating carbon emissions, Hurtigruten Norway will also utilise certified biofuels.

The yard will aim to deliver MS Richard With on 9 August.

Thereafter, MS Kong Harald will reach Myklebust Yard to undergo the same upgrades, followed by MS Nordlys.