Hurtigruten Expeditions’ new battery-hybrid powered ship MS Fridtjof Nansen was named during a ceremony in Longyearbyen.

The event, described to be the northernmost naming ceremony for a passenger ship, was held on 14 September. It took place on a location where the company began expedition sailings in 1896.

The 530-passenger Fridtjof Nansen was named by crushing a chunk of ice in her hull, continuing the ritual invented by polar hero Roald Amundsen.

Photo by: Hurtigruten Expeditions

The ship, built by Norway’s Kleven Yards Ulsteinvik, measures 140 meters in length and features a battery hybrid powered propulsion system. With this new propulsion system, the unit is expected to cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

To honor the century-long Svalbard heritage, MS Fridtjof Nansen is the first cruise ship ever to be registered in Longyearbyen.

“By naming this unprecedented ship after Fridtjof Nansen, on Svalbard, we pay tribute to him as an explorer and a scientist and to the rich arctic legacy of Hurtigruten Expeditions,”  said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen.

“This small-sized, battery-hybrid powered expedition ship will explore all waters – and she will do so proudly calling Svalbard home.”

Hurtigruten believes that the future of expedition cruising is silent and environmentally friendly, and their investment in eco-friendly ships started back in 2018, when it signed a contract with Rolls-Royce for a major environmental upgrade program to hybrid power. The plan was to convert the main engines on up to nine cruise ships from diesel to gas power and equip the ships with a hybrid battery system.

In May 2021, the firm also signed a contract with Norwegian maritime technology group Kongsberg Maritime to upgrade three passenger vessels with comprehensive equipment packages for hybrid operation.

Source: Offshore Energy