Working alongside a consortium of 12 maritime partners and Norwegian research organisation Sintef, the design includes three first-of-their-kind sails that capture both wind energy and solar power. Covered in photovoltaic panels for a total surface area of 1,500 sq m, the retractable wing rigs automatically rise to 50 metres high when wind or sun conditions are suitable (in the summer, northern Norway’s midnight sun shines for 24 hours a day). The renewable energy generated from the sails, as well as from ports where the ship can be plugged in to charge, will be stored in large batteries onboard.
The 135-metre-long vessel is designed to use as little energy as possible. While the ship’s streamlined shape makes it aerodynamic, its underwater air lubrication technology covers the bottom in air bubbles that reduce friction when sailing.
Meanwhile, Hurtigruten will employ artificial intelligence to slightly alter routes for maximum efficiency. Guests will also be able to monitor and control their own energy use in the onboard cabins via a mobile app. Currently in its research and development phase, the cruise company will begin construction by 2027, before the zero-emission ship sets sail in 2030.