The Roald Amundsen, the world’s first hybrid expedition cruise ship that is propelled partially by battery power, is all set to make its maiden voyage.
The cruise operator, Hurtigruten confirmed that this ship will head out from Norway to Alaska and finally head south, arriving at Antarctica in October.
Interestingly, the ship is named after the Norweigan explorer Roald Amundsen, who was one of the greatest figures in polar exploration. He was the first to reach the South Pole and the first to make a ship voyage through the Northwest Passage.
The ship can accommodate 500 passengers and its engines will run primarily on marine gasoil. However, the battery pack of the ship will allow it to sail solely on batteries for a period of 45 minutes to one hour in ideal conditions.
According to Hurtigruten, the battery pack will reduce the fuel consumption of the ship. Further, it will reduce the carbon dioxide emission by 20 per cent when compared to the emissions if the ship were using only marine gasoil.
The ship will head to the Arctic this week and will sail through the Northwest Passage to Alaska. Subsequently, it will head to Antarctica.
“It’s designed to take excessive energy from the engines and put into the battery when the ship doesn’t need it, and put it back into the engine when the ship needs it — it is a way of reducing emissions significantly without having charging stations available,” Daniel Skjeldam, the Chief Executive Officer of Hurtigruten, said.
The battery-operated technology for ships is currently in a fledgeling state as charging stations at ports are not available readily. However, it is expected to play a major role in shipping in the years to come.