While some cruise lines are taking steps to curb the use of single-use plastic straws and upgrading their fleet to state of the art liquid natural gas power, others like The Fjords are looking for ways to stop harmful carbon emissions entirely. Their new all-electric ship, Future of the Fjords, won the prestigious Ship of the Year award at SMM 2018, a top marine trade fair in Hamburg, Germany.
Why Future of the Fjords Won
Being the world’s first all-electric carbon fibre vessel is a standout achievement, but it’s not the only factor that led to The Fjords taking home their 2nd Ship of the Year award over the past three years. Competition was stiff, with a krill harvesting ship owned by Aker Biomarine, and PONANT’s expedition cruise ship Le Lapérouse on the ballot as well.
According to The Fjords CEO Rolf A. Sandvik, it’s the revolutionary new ‘power dock’ charging system that stands out.
“Due to the limited local grid capability in our port of Gudvangen we could only access a charging capacity of 1.2MWh, just half of what the vessel requires,” he said. “So we, together with Brødrene Aa, in collaboration with our project partners, had to think a little differently to achieve our aims. Together we came up with the idea of a floating 2.4MWh battery bank contained in a 40m long glass fibre composite body. This could simply and slowly top up capacity from the grid through the day without the need for disruptive and expensive power surges.”
Respecting the Environment
The Fjords is no stranger to winning industry praise. Future of the Seas’ sister ship, Vision of the Seas, won the SMM Ship of the Year award in 2016. Sandvik made it clear the move to environmentally conscious cruising and all-electric ships was something his company was committed too.
“We’re proud to receive this accolade and excited about what it means for ourselves, our stakeholders and the wider transport industry,” he said. “Both Vision and Future were designed to showcase and protect the unique Norwegian UNESCO World Heritage listed landscape they sail through – delivering an optimal passenger experience, whereby visitors can become at one with nature, without impacting upon it.”