Geiranger fjord, Norway. File Image / Pixabay
Norwegian ferry and cruise operator Hurtigruten is investing millions of dollars to retrofit battery pack technology to its coastal and expedition fleets.
The first upgraded coastal ship, MS Richard With, was launched last month. Six more in its Coastal Express fleet can expect similar treatment while three of the companies expedition/cruise vessels are hybrid.
These moves, company CEO Daniel Skjeldam told local publication Skift, form part of of a company-wide green strategy.
"We're pushing for stronger regulation because we see that a lot of other players in the cruise industry don't necessarily make these investments until they're forced to," Skjeldam was quoted as saying.
Specifically, the company supports a ban on the use of heavy fuel oil by cruise ships in environmentally sensitive areas. And Skjeldam cites the Norwegian government's ban on the fuel from Svalbard and the Norwegian coastline as success on this front.
But looking ahead, he said that the route to zero-emissions is far from clear.
"Technology is not there yet," he said, adding that "you can't order a zero-emission ship today even if you wanted to."
But the company is looking hard at new technology and even if a zero-emission cruise ship is not possible by 2030, reducing emissions by 80-90% is, he said.