April 10, 2019

ELECTRIC WHISPERS: Hurtigruten launch electric powered, emission-free Arctic catamarans

Words by Travel to change the world

Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten is taking their eco-friendly ethos to the next level by introducing silent, electric-powered and emission-free catamarans to their voyages.

The new battery-powered vessels, custom built for Polar water exploration are part of Hurtigruten’s new partnership with Norwegian startup Brim Explorer.

What’s the challenge?

Climate change has already removed at least 75 per cent of Arctic summer sea ice volume at rates never before experienced in human history.

Pic World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

While more and more travellers desire to explore the remote Polar regions, it’s imperative that these fragile eco-systems are explored in a sustainable, responsible way.

Both for future generations as well as for northern and indigenous communities whose livelihoods rely upon a healthy Arctic today.

A render of what the proposed Explorer vessel will look like

What’s the solution?

Brim Explorer’s first vessel, which is under construction in Norway, will debut in August 2019, operating under the Hurtigruten Svalbard brand.

It will offer Hurtigruten guests travelling along the Norwegian coast several excursions including The Lofoten Islands (spring and summer), based out of Svolvær and Northern light voyages (winter) based out of the Arctic capital of Tromsø.

The second catamaran launching in spring of 2020 is a 24-metre vessel which will go on a variety of daily silent and sustainable ocean excursions from her homeport Longyearbyen on the Arctic island of Svalbard.

Carrying 140 guests, with outdoor seating for 80, the hybrid catamaran can be charged at virtually any port and operate on batteries for 10 hours with a cruising speed of 10 knots.

“We have created the first sightseeing vessel in the world able to operate a full day on electric power, and we look forward to using our knowledge to move the travel industry in a greener direction together with Hurtigruten,” said Agnes árnadóttir, Brim Explorer’s co-founder and CEO.

Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam
Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam

What will the positive impact be?

By combining wave-breaking and green technology, clean Nordic design and focus on sustainable travel, Hurtigruten has created the first sightseeing vessel in the world able to operate a full day on electric power.

Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says he firmly believes that the future of travel is emission-free.

“Brim and Hurtigruten found each other through our common passion for the oceans. Their vision to change the way people experience the Arctic is a perfect match to our bold sustainability ambitions,”

Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam

Hurtigruten and Hurtigruten Svalbard will also work closely with Brim Explorer to continuously improve and develop the green technology, such as integrating solar panels with the electric driveline to exploit the 24-hour Arctic sun to charge the batteries while sailing.

Developing renewable energy stations in smaller ports for charging is another project under development.

Hurtigruten is also pioneering eco-friendly expedition cruising in the region with new state of the art hybrid ships.

Read all about it here.

Find out more at

Beach clean ups on Hurtigruten expeditions

How can you travel to change the world?

Congratulations! By reading this post and taking some of these insights on board, you’ve already made a difference.

Now you can easily create your impact by sharing your new-found knowledge with other friends who you think would also be interested.

Ultimately, responsible travel comes down to common sense – stay curious, keep yourself up-to-date with the challenges at hand and make yourself accountable for your actions on your travels.