Future of the Fjords is a new all-electric sightseeing vessel built by Brødrene Aa for Norwegian marine transportation company, The Fjords.

The emission-free vessel is a successor to the Vision of the Fjords, which was introduced into service in 2016. It was built at a cost of 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 of the vessel began in May 2017 and it was delivered to The Fjords 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

The sightseeing vessel is built using lightweight carbon-fibre composite materials to reduce energy consumption, as well as the power and battery capacities.

Light carbon sandwich laminates are featured on the hull and superstructures, resulting in approximately 50% weight reduction. State-of-the-art catamaran design  also reduces waves and washes on the exposed shores of the narrow fjords.

Passengers can walk around approximately 80% of the exterior of the vessel and enjoy the spectacular views of the fjords. 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. The natural materials and tone-down colours were used in the vessel to connect it with nature. All furniture is custom-built for the vessel.

Passenger accommodations is available 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 freshwater, 2,000l of greywater, 3,000l of sewage and 100l of bilge water. The bunker, discharge and charging stations are 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 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 minimises resistance and speed loss.

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.

Batteries can be charged using the advanced charging station with approximately 800kWh of power during the 20min docking period. The propulsion system enables the vessel to sail at a cruise speed of 16k.