The Future of the Fjords is a new all-electric sight-seeing vessel built by Brødrene Aa for Norwegian marine transportation company The Fjords. The vessel became operational in May 2018.
The emission-free vessel joined its sister ship, the Vision of the Fjords, which was inducted into service in 2016. The estimated investment of the vessel is approximately $17m (Nkr144m), which is 60% more than its predecessor.
The shipbuilding programme was funded by The Fjords while Enova, owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, also sourced $2.1m (Nkr17.8m) to support the construction of the vessel.
Construction began in May 2017 and the vessel was delivered in April 2018. The 40m-long vessel carries up to 400 tourists in the fjord between Flam and Gudvangen, which is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Design and features of Future of the Fjords
The vessel was built using lightweight carbon-fibre composite materials to reduce energy consumption, as well as the power and battery capacities.
The hull and superstructures feature lightweight carbon sandwich laminates, resulting in approximately 50% weight reduction. The state-of-the-art catamaran design also reduces waves and washes on the exposed shores of the narrow fjords.
The exterior allows passengers to walk around the vessel, enjoying the views of the fjords. Approximately 80% of the exterior is open to passengers. The unique exterior design offers a front-row viewing space for all 400 passengers on board.
The interior design aims to create a relaxing environment. Natural materials and toned-down colours were used in the vessel connecting it with nature. All furniture was custom-built for the vessel.
Future of the Fjords offers passenger accommodations on two decks. It features 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 also integrates upgraded IT systems to enhance digital services for passengers.
Future of the Fjords has an overall length of 40m and a width of 15m.
Capacities of Future of the Fjords
The vessel has 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 are positioned on the starboard side.
Future of the Fjords propulsion
The catamaran vessel is powered by two electric motors driving Servogear Ecoflow propellers through two Servogear HD220H gearboxes. Each electric motor is able to generate a power output of 450kW at 1,180rpm. The Servogear controllable-pitch propeller system offers an optimal combination of manoeuvrability, speed and bollard pull.
The compact propeller has a diameter of 1,475mm, while the diameter of the propeller shaft is approximately 100mm. The propulsion system reduces noise and vibrations, NOx and CO₂ emissions while improving fuel efficiency. The feathering position capabilities of the system further minimise resistance and speed loss.
The motors are 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 is capable of charging the batteries with approximately 800kWh of power during the 20-minute docking period. The propulsion system enables the vessel to sail at a cruise speed of 16k.