While the operator is certainly not new to the innovative, zero emission ferry market, this 400-passenger, carbon fiber catamaran is unique in that it marks the company’s move into a new operating area: Oslo.
Currently The Fjords operates 11 vessels serving Western Norway’s fjords area, Vision of the Fjords and Future of the Fjords serving as the flagships, sailing daily between Flåm and Gudvangen. The company’s stated mission is to provide an optimal passenger experience while safeguarding the unique environments the ships give access to.
All-Electric in Oslo
“This is a move that will surprise some in the industry, but one we see as a natural progression for this ambitious business,” said The Fjords CEO Rolf Sandvik. “Oslo is very different from Flåm, but we believe it should demand the same degree of operational responsibility and environmental care – especially seeing as it is EU Green Capital of the Year 2019. We want to set new standards for the urban environment, as we have done for the natural one, and the silent running, highly efficient, zero emission Legacy of The Fjords will allow us to do so.”
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will officially announce the plans for the vessel today when she takes the role of Future of The Fjords’ Godmother in Gudvangen. Here she will confirm that the new ship will receive support from state run organisations Enova and the NOx Fund, conceived to help enable low emission technology.
“This is a design (Legacy of The Fjords) optimized to provide every passenger, whatever their needs, with a premium sightseeing experience,” said Sandvik. “Vision and Future utilize this unique platform for accessing a landscape almost untouched by human influence. Those on Legacy, on the other hand, will see a very human landscape, but one that is embraced by nature – through the fjord and the forests – on all sides.”
Legacy of The Fjords will employ a specially constructed Power Dock (a floating charging solution originally designed for Future of The Fjords) allowing it to refill its 2.4MWh battery capacity in just 20 minutes. The Power Dock bleeds energy from the local grid throughout the day - while also storing consumables, fuel and waste for collection – and in doing so avoids unsustainable, expensive power surges. Its ability to store grey and black water also ensures zero emissions to water, as well as to air.
“This is a considerable investment,” Sandvik said, “but an important one. From a growth perspective it marks a new phase for the business, but, more importantly, it also shows other operators here and around the world that it is possible to operate with the utmost environmental care, while providing sensational passenger experiences, in cities as well as natural landscapes.
The Fjords is jointly owned by tourist body Flåm AS and Norway’s leading ferry company Fjord1. Westcon will provide the battery solution for Legacy of The Fjords.
Legacy of The Fjords Main Particulars
Length 42 m
Width 15 m
Materials Carbon fibre sandwich
Class DNV GL light craft
El-motor 2 x450kW
Propeller CPP propeller
Battery pack 1800 kWh