Hurtigruten is the proud legacy of Hurtigruten Group. It is a national icon which has sailed what is considered the world’s most beautiful voyage along the Norwegian coastline since 1893. Today, its seven ships stop at 34 ports between Bergen and Kirkenes, connecting communities, delivering freight, and showcasing the splendour of the Norwegian coast to guests from around the world.
We’ve begun our most ambitious sustainability initiative ever in our 130-year history: to develop zero-emission ships tailored to the Norwegian coast by 2030.
We are partnering with SINTEF, one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations, to explore solutions in energy efficiency and battery electric power.
Channelling the same pioneering spirit as our first voyage in 1893, we are embarking on a journey to build our first fully zero-emission ship for The Coastal Express by 2030. It is the most ambitious sustainability initiative in our 130-year history.
To reach Sea Zero, we are partnering with science-institute SINTEF to explore exciting, state-of-the-art solutions in energy efficiency and battery electric power.
We’re excited to unveil early concept designs for our first zero-emission ship. The design features:
“The Coastal Express has sailed the Norwegian coast for 130 years. For us to sail for 130 years more, we need to change the way we sail.
We are now upgrading our entire fleet, cutting CO2 emissions by 25%. Still, for our precious nature and for future generations, we have to do more.
It will require a lot of hard work, a lot of investment, and a lot of collaboration with very clever partners. But I know we’ll get there.”
We’re proud to launch Sea Zero on and for the Norwegian coast. This is our home.
It is the ideal location for developing new zero-emission ships thanks to Norway’s strong political will to support sustainable shipping, alongside future infrastructure for green energy.
Sailing these shores and fjords since 1893, we as The Coastal Express also have a long heritage of working closely with leading research institutions and innovative ship design companies, giving us the confidence to set Sea Zero as our goal.
Though our goal is zero emissions, we are doing what we can with the ships and the technology we have today.
That’s why we’ve invested €100 million into green upgrades for our existing fleet of seven ships, including transforming three ships to use hybrid-power. By 2024, these changes will have cut CO2 emissions by 25% and NOx emissions by 80%.
While hybrid-power allows ships to switch to electric batteries and be emission-free for a few hours, Sea Zero will go further and allow our ships to be fully emission-free, not just for a few hours, but always.
“The research and development behind the Sea Zero concept will demonstrate that zero-emission technology is available also for relatively large vessels and mark the end of fossil-fuelled coastal shipping.” Gunnar Malm Gamlem, Project Manager, SINTEF Ocean
For our journey to zero-emission ships by 2030, SINTEF collaborated with us to carry out a feasibility study in summer 2022. It showed that to achieve Sea Zero for The Coastal Express, our new ships need to reach new standards in energy efficiency and primarily use sustainable electric energy, combined with small volumes of climate-neutral back-up fuel. The next phase is to collaborate with other partners to explore these solutions further and to qualify precisely how these measures can contribute to our overall goal of sustainability and zero emissions.
The study first analysed the following factors of our ships:
The study also outlined how sailing emission-free along the coast presents unique challenges that require pioneering solutions.
Any innovations must still:
The feasibility study found three reasons why and how our future ships will be fully electric vessels, equipped with batteries that are charged with renewable energy when in port.
Beyond zero greenhouse gas emissions, all solutions must be sustainable in every respect, including emissions to sea and the use, sourcing, and recycling of materials.
As only 1/7 of the global energy today is renewable, and energy is becoming an even more scarce resource, energy efficiency will be a pillar in our Sea Zero project. SINTEF’s scientists and engineers will examine all the systems and equipment in the new ship design to make sure each uses the lowest possible energy.
The feasibility study identified nearly 50 areas and innovations that will significantly reduce energy consumption across aspects such as:
The technologies SINTEF identified as promising in the feasibility study will now be explored further with our industry partners. Together, we will find out the positive effects each measure will have to our shared goal of Sea Zero.