December 14, 2018
(11 a.m. EST) -- The world’s first ever hybrid cruise ship, Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen, was unveiled to key members of the public yesterday.
Journalists and industry experts from all over the world were flown in for the grand unveiling event, which took place at Kleven shipyard, an hour away from Alesund in Norway.
The 530-passenger ship, which will set sail in spring 2019, will be the first in the world to harness electrical propulsion to help it cruise silently in sensitive seas. The new ship is fitted with a battery room, which will help power the vessel and is expected to cut CO2 emissions by up to 20 per cent.
Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam took to the stage to launch the uncloaking event.
"The MS Roald Amundsen is going to be the Toyota Prius of the ocean," he said. "We are pushing boundaries with this ship. The cruise industry doesn't have a reputation for being an environmentally friendly industry and we want to change that. We want to lead the globe in making cruising more sustainable."
Following Skjeldam's speech, other key Hurtigruten officials stepped into the spotlight to explain all the ways that the MS Amundsen has been designed to stand out from the ships currently available through other cruise lines.
Hurtigruten's most experienced expedition leader, Karin Strand, explained the ship’s Science Centre to the attendees.
"We are so so excited about this Science Centre," she said. "Passengers are going to be able to participate in the official research that we are conducting in partnership with institutions like The Scripps Institute in California. They're going to be able to feel like they're really making a difference. For me, this is the heart of the ship. I could talk about it for days."
Audiences at the event were also given the breaking news that the MS Roald Amundsen won't just be the world's first hybrid powered ship, but it will also be home to the tallest LED screen at sea. At 17.5 metres tall, the screen will span seven decks and be used to screen live images of the landscapes that surround the ship as it sails along.
Event attendees also got a first glimpse of MS Roald Amundsen's sister ship the MS Fridjtof Nansen, which is currently undergoing construction in the same yard.