The Fjords operates nine tourist ships in the Western Norwegian fjords, opening up the wonders of this unique landscape to visitors from across the world, all year round.
With a commitment to safeguarding the environment it showcases, this forward-thinking company is dedicated to launching a new breed of technologically advanced green vessels that provide unforgettable passenger experiences. This was demonstrated in 2016 with the launch of Vision of The Fjords, a breath-taking 42m long carbon fibre hybrid vessel that switches to electric propulsion in the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Nærøyfjord.
In April 2018, The Fjords took the next, crucial step forward and launched Future of The Fjords.
Future of The Fjords is a vessel with a mission. Not only does it provide optimal passenger experiences – with panoramic windows, comfortable lounges, and a design made to ensure all passengers, regardless of mobility, can ‘climb’ over it and experience the area’s natural beauty up close – but it also operates with zero emissions, of any kind.
With an all-electric propulsion unit of two 300kW motors, enabling cruising speeds of 16 knots, there’s no emissions to air and no noise. A radical charging solution designed specifically for this vessel ensures that there no emissions to water either, with all grey and black water transferred to a floating storage unit rather than, as is the norm, discharged directly into the fjord. In addition, a specially designed hull minimises vessel wake to protect the fragile shoreline from erosion.
The carbon fibre hull reduces weight and optimises energy efficiency, ensuring savings in battery capacity.
That said, we believe this ship can make waves throughout the industry.
Future of The Fjords demonstrates that passenger and tourist vessels can be environmentally friendly, accessible, provide stunning experiences and, with a tailored power solution, relatively easy to introduce to remote areas with limited electric grid capacity. In this respect, we see it as a viable model for the future development of this sector, worldwide.
The charging solution is a key facilitator. Based on an idea from The Fjords itself, Norwegian shipyard Brødrene Aa (which has also created the vessel) has developed a floating ‘power dock’ solution with a 2.4 MWh battery pack, allowing the vessel to fully charge in just 20 minutes. This simply ‘plugs in’ to the local grid network and charges throughout the day, gradually topping up energy capacity without any disruptive, and expensive, power surges. No extra network development is required and, if desired, the dock can simply be moved to new destinations to enable complete vessel flexibility. There is no need for costly, land-based infrastructure.
This solution could enable the introduction of electric vessels in almost any location with a local grid. In addition, power docks could also be used to charge electric cars, buses and other transport modes – forming cost-effective, efficient and easy to install local power hubs wherever there’s a need for electric ferries.
As previously mentioned the dock, constructed from glass fibre composite, boasts a 20m3 tank for receiving grey and black water as well as storage room for on-board consumables, allowing the vessel itself to maximise passenger capacity. It also features a fuel tank for sister ship Vision of The Fjords.
Passengers enjoy a once in a lifetime experience. The vessel is almost as stunning as its surroundings. Designed to mimic the zigzagging mountain paths it silently sails beside, Future of The Fjords allows passengers to walk over it and immerse their senses in a unique fjord experience, with 1m of railing per passenger on deck for a truly ‘front row’ vantage point. Inside its (almost) as captivating as outside with floor to ceiling windows and comfortable lounges to sit back and lose yourself in the vistas that surround you. Prices are competitive to ensure everyone can have access to a premium fjord experience.
The vessel will serve its local ports of call year-round. The Fjords is the only operator in the area to provide this service – opening up the spellbinding beauty of the winter months to visitors while ensuring tourist footfall revenues for local businesses. The quality, design, and service provided by the vessel is also a tourist attraction in its own right.
With unparalleled efficiency, ‘straight from the grid’ low cost power supply, innovative solutions to eradicate emissions, a stunning passenger experience, and loading technology that can promote and enable the use of electricity to power transport in remote areas, we believe Future of The Fjords is an exceptional vessel capable of impacting far beyond its operating area.
The Fjords is dedicated to moving its passengers. Operating a fleet of nine tourism and transport vessels on the Western Norwegian fjords of Nærøyfjord, Geirangerfjord, Sognefjord, Hjørundfjord and Lysefjord, the company aims to connect customers not just to their destinations, but also to the unique natural beauty that surrounds them. The Fjords is co-owned 50/50 by Fjord1, Norway’s largest ferry company, and Flåm AS, which works to promote Flåm’s world-class tourism opportunities.