Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten has organised a steel cutting ceremony to mark the beginning of construction on its new hybrid expedition ship named Roald Amundsen at Kleven shipyard in Norway.
Roald Amundsen will be the first passenger vessel to be powered by fully electric hybrid technology, and will have the capacity to carry up to 530 passengers.
The purpose-built vessel is Hurtigruten’s first explorer-class ship, and has been designed to cruise in polar waters. Delivery is expected by next year.
Hurtigruten also expects to take delivery of the ship's sister vessel by 2019, which will be named Fridtjof Nansen. Further plans are also in place for the order of two additional ships in the same class.
Each of the vessels were designed by Rolls-Royce and Norwegian yacht designer Espen Oino, and are set feature Scandinavian interior designs inspired by nature, with large observation platforms. All ships will contain three restaurants and a pool deck with infinity pools, whirlpools and bars.
Most of each vessel's 265 cabins will feature a balcony, and suites will also be available.
Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam was quoted by Cruise Critic as saying: “Sustainability will be the core deal of every detail of the ship and on board operation.
“The hybrid engine will reduce fuel consumption substantially and allow for periods of completely emission-free sailing.
“With a number of other ground-breaking technical solutions throughout the ship, Roald Amundsen will be the most advanced and environmentally friendly expedition ship ever built.”
Both Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen are expected to reduce fuel consumption by around 20%, and will be able to sail with electric propulsion for up to 30 minutes at a time.