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Published in: Cruise News

Starting late next year the first of at least six ships from Hurtigruten will be re-engined, with the Norwegian company moving to LNG powerplants along with liquified biogas and batteries.

It’s the first LNG re-engining project in the cruise industry.

“We’ve set ourselves the ambitious target of being the greenest cruise line in the world,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam, in an interview with Cruise Industry News.

At the core of that is the company’s fuel mantra: it will not operate anywhere on HFO.

In addition, a coming pipeline of three new ships will feature battery power, and earlier this year the company became the first cruise line to ban single use plastics.

Taking that to the next step, Hurtigruten will rip out old diesel powerplants from its vessels built in the 1990s, putting in state-of-the-art LNG-fueled engines.

The 90-day drydock period for each vessel will conclcude with the ships emerging as the new environmental standard, Skjeldam said.

“Just the decision to go with batteries and LNG was an easy solution; it is technology that is out there and there is a lot of LNG availability where we operate,” Skjeldam added.

The big news is the biogas, a fossil-free, renewable fuel produced from dead fish and other organic waste. It can be mixed in with LNG.

The investment totals a fleetwide refurbishment budget of some $850 million, including a complete interior refit.

The final product? The most sustainable cruise operation in the world, said Skjeldam.

“The guest of the future will be focused on this,” he added.

The six ships slated for re-engining will see a hole cut in the side, and all diesel engines and tanks removed. New engines, tanks and batteries will go in. The LNG tanks will require a larger space commitment.

“We are doing significant analysis on the entire GA (general arrangement) on the ships; we do have some space here and there,” Skjeldam continued. “There is a lot of new technology in LNG tanks.”

Skjeldam said he expects the ships to be able to sail up to 14 days on LNG and battery power without needing to bunker.

While the LNG supply chain in Norway is no problem, the biogas opportunities are not yet as appealing as Hurtigruten is working with multiple companies to support biogas bunkering.

“We are considering sailing completely emissions free in the world heritage fjords. There are new regulations coming in 2025 and we are very much in front of these,” Skjeldam said.

“We are the first ones to re-engine for LNG and the first ones to use biogas. We were the first ones to build hybrid ships. Our strategy is to be in front.”

The eventual goal? Operate ships emissions free.

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