Norwegian passenger ferry operator The Fjords has announced plans to add another electric vessel to its fleet, with news that Legacy of The Fjords is now under construction at Brødrene AA.
The 400-person, carbon-fiber catamaran shares the design of sister ships Vision of The Fjords and Future of The Fjords, but marks a bold move by the owners into an entirely new operating area – the Norwegian capital, Oslo.
The Fjords, which is jointly owned by tourist body Flåm AS and one of Norway’s leading ferry companies Fjord1, operates 11 vessels serving western Norway’s fjords area. Vision and Future are the current flagships, sailing daily between Flåm and Gudvangen on the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nærøyfjord. However, from July 2019 Brødrene AA’s Seasight vessel design, which will be powered by a Westcon battery solution, will be seen sailing through an urban environment.
“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 the EU Green Capital of the Year 2019,” said The Fjords CEO Rolf Sandvik. “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 officially announced the plans for the vessel in November when she took the role of Future of The Fjords’ Godmother in Gudvangen. There, she confirmed that the new ship would receive support from state-run organizations Enova and the NOx Fund, conceived to help enable low-emission technology.
Legacy of The Fjords will employ a specially constructed PowerDock – a floating charging solution originally designed for Future of The Fjords – allowing it to refill its 2.4MWh battery capacity in 20 minutes. The PowerDock 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 gray and black water also ensures zero emissions to water, as well as to air.
“This is a considerable investment but an important one,” Sandvik concluded. “ 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.
“Legacy will be unique when it arrives, but it’s our hope we can provide a model for sustainable future transport – one that will inspire other responsible, visionary cities and owners to follow suit. That will be our legacy.”
- November 2018