A small boat in a large body of water

Science, innovation & technology

As we enter a new era of adventure travel driven by sustainability, Hurtigruten is committed to setting and raising the standards for the industry to follow. Hurtigruten’s ultimate goal is to operate our ships completely emissions-free.

By introducing the world’s first hybrid powered cruise ships, we are taking industry-leading stepsr. By retrofitting existing ships with large battery packs and LBG/LNG engines, we are constantly innovating to reach this goal.

Fighting climate change through innovation

There are more than 300 cruise ships in the world. Daily emissions from one single cruise ship operating on heavy fuel oil can be equivalent to one million cars. This needs to change.

Fighting climate change through innovation

Hurtigruten’s revolutionary hybrid powered ships are the backbone of what will be the world’s greenest expedition cruise fleet. They have been named after legends of the golden age of Polar exploration. This is no coincidence. Hurtigruten traces our roots back to the great polar heroes and has explored some of the most spectacular and demanding waters of our planet since 1893.

Building on our more than 125 years of pioneering heritage, our new ships are equipped with large battery packs to significantly cut emissions. In addition, the ships are packed with cutting-edge green technology, environmental solutions, and improved hull and bow designs. 

Historical green upgrade

Hurtigruten is upgrading a number of our ships from traditional diesel engines to hybrid power - combining liquified natural gas (LNG), bio gas (LBG) and battery packs. This huge green upgrade program allows us to optimize the full use of clean battery power and LBG/LNG – the greenest fuel currently available for shipping. The use of these efficient engines alone will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 25 percent compared to 2015 levels. NOx emissions will be reduced by a whopping 90 percent.

Research, innovation, cooperation & monitoring

Hurtigruten also has a long history of participating in programs to monitor and analyse the waters and areas we operate in. Together with our guests and scientific partners, we are involved in important research, from polar bear registration on Svalbard and logging seawater temperature along the Norwegian coast, to oil spill surveillance and Antarctic research.

Since 1932, Hurtigruten has been measuring sea temperature, salinity levels and algae growth as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Norwegian Institute for Marine Research and the Norwegian Institute for Water Research. 80 years ago, we threw a bucket overboard to collect samples to bring to their headquarters. Now, we collect precise measurements using the sophisticated sensor system Ferrybox. The data collected by Ferrybox is transferred via satellite to NIVA and used by researchers to monitorboth natural variability in the ocean and human impacts on the oceans, including climate change.

Ocean Visuals, a system currently installed onboard MS Trollfjord and MS Midnatsol, uses advanced laser equipment, to continuously monitor the ocean for oil spillages. MS Trollfjord and MS Midnatsol have made 5 million measurements so far, identifying more than 40 incidents of oil spillages and two leaks from installations on shore. The Norwegian Coastal Administration is notified immediately of such instances. All data collected from Ocean Visuals is made open source for anyone to use for review and research.

We use citizen science to enhance the areas we sail in. For example, at Svalbard we take part in the Norwegian Polar Institute project for registration of marine mammals in the Arctic (Marine Mammal Sightings Data Base). The data improves our overall understanding of habitat use and seasonal movement patterns.

Advancing shore power

Connecting to shore power reduces ship emisisons to zero. Our entire fleet sailing the Norwegian coast will be retrofitted with this capability by 2021. The new shore-based electricity facility in the port of Bergen alone, will reduce our NOx emissions by 2.5 tons and CO2 emissions by 150 tons per ship, every year.

Caring for the sea

Our vessels produce their own fresh water through onboard desalination and purification technology. We reuse heat from the engines and exhaust systems to warm  the hot water tanks on board. This saves an amount of power equivalent to 6700 households per year. We have also implemented new  technology to reduce food waste, as part of our sustainability and waste programs.

We maintain stringent policies regarding discharge into the sea, including a ban on discharging food waste, grey water, bilge water and black water in pristine fjords Hjørundfjorden, Geirangerfjord/ Storfjorden and Lyngenfjorden – as well as  other vulnerable areas.

Banning heavy fuel oil

Because of its reliance on heavy fuel oil, the shipping industry is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions; particularly SOx, NOX and CO2. and other pollutants such as particulate matter and black carbon contribute to global warming and environmental damage in other ways. Hurtigruten stopped using heavy fuel  oil over a decade ago, and encourages the rest of the industry to do so as well.

With leading environmental partners such as Clean Arctic Alliance and European Climate Foundation, Hurtigruten is spearheading a campaign to ban the use of HFO in Arctic waters. In 2019, AECO, the umbrella industry for cruise tourism, embraced this ban.

If you are one of our competitors, we invite you to sign the Arctic Commitment  and join our struggle to make operating on Heavy Fuel oil in Arctic waters illegal.