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MS Richard With - Hurtigruten Norway

Hurtigruten Norway Launches First Hybrid Ship: MS Richard With

Hurtigruten Norway launched the company’s first environmentally friendly battery powered hybrid ship, MS Richard With, making it the first of 7 ships in the Coastal Express fleet to receive sustainable upgrades. The ship features state of the latest in technology and claims to reduce Nitrogen oxides and C02’s emissions. These ecofriendly upgrades are due to the EUR100 Million Green loan made available by the European Commission and the Innovation Fund in early 2022. The loan made EUR $100 million available for projects in renewable energy, energy-intensive industries including substitute products, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage. 

“With MS Richard With back in operations as a fully-upgraded ship, guests can sail the Norwegian coast on a quieter, state-of-the-art, and environmentally-friendly ship, while enjoying a traditional experience unlike anything in the world. Over the next year, all our seven Coastal Express ships will be upgraded to be more sustainable,” said Hedda Felin, CEO of Hurtigruten Norway.

MS Richard With - Hurtigruten Norway
MS Richard With | Photo: Hurtigruten Norway

The new hybrid cruise ship is a part of Hurtigruten Norway’s efforts to make their fleet more sustainable. Hurtigruten Norway has invested almost $100 million Euros in environmentally friendly upgrades, which the company hopes to implement across their fleet by 2024. This news comes after their sister company, Hurtigruten Expeditions, introduced the world’s first ever battery-hybrid powered expedition ship, MS Roald Amundsen, in 2019. Hurtigruten Expeditions now has 3 battery hybrid powered ships.

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While discussing the importance of going green, Hedda Felin said “Becoming a green company means investing in efforts with documented effects, such as the ones we are doing now. As a result, by next summer, we will have three upgraded hybrid ships sailing the coast, and our entire fleet will be more energy efficient, cutting CO2-emissions by 25% and NOx by 80%.”

The new ship features substantial upgrades over previous newbuilds including advanced ultramodern engines, the latest battery packages, and contemporary propulsion systems. The company’s 7 ships are also scheduled to be fitted with SCR systems that hope to cut NOx emissions by 80% no later than early 2024.

“This is one of the largest environmental upgrades of its kind in Europe, and the largest in Hurtigruten’s history. The fact that we have made these upgrades at Myklebust Yard, with as much Norwegian technology as possible, is no coincidence. Hurtigruten Norway has been a contributor to local communities for 130 years and will continue to be so when sailing, building, and upgrading our ships,” Felin said.

Green upgrades added to MS Richard With include:

  • Present-day switchboards and power management systems
  • SCR systems that cut NOx emissions by 80%
  • Hull-optimization to lessen drag
  • Ultramodern boilers to improve heat recovery from the main engines
  • Conversion to a hybrid ship with two large battery packs and new methodical Norwegian- made engines
  • Installation of new high tech wastewater treatment plans to reduce emissions to sea
  • Using certified biofuels to cut down on CO2 emissions
  • The latest navigational and maneuvering bridge systems
  • Brand new propeller blades, bulbous bows, gears, and control systems to decrease energy use

With these ecological upgrades, all 7 of Hurtigruten Norway’s Coastal Express ships will have emissions equivalent to Tier III, the strictest and most stern international standard for NOx emissions. Hoping to cut even more CO2 emissions, the company also plans to use certified biofuels for ships in their fleet.

Hurtigruten Group aims to raise the bar and set new standards for the travel industry with this sustainable and eco-friendly shift.

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Colleen Devaney is a contributing writer for Porthole Cruise and Travel. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Film & Television from The University of Arizona. She enjoys spending time with family, traveling the world and playing with her dogs, Bailey, Rocky & Lady.