Blue voyage in green style

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Photo: Hurtigruten.no

Soon you can travel along Norway’s coastline with a good conscience: The Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten is going green.

Norway is an amazing country to visit, and experiencing it from the sea is an adventure in itself. Many tourists choose to go by Hurtigruten to discover the coastal towns and fjords of Norway. However, the growing cruise ship business has a downside: It is polluting our environment.

On Friday, Hurtigruten announced the conversion of up to nine of its ships to hybrid gas and battery power. The liquid natural gas (LNG) motors that are to be installed will be effective and powerful, and have very low emissions of greenhouse gases. Hurtigruten’s ships are currently on diesel, and the green shift will be the largest environmental upgrade in the company’s history. The upgrade will be executed by Rolls-Royce Marine.

The announcement has been praised by one of Norway’s largest environmental organizations, Bellona. “Hurtigruten’s investment is showing the way forward. Along with other Norwegian maritime suppliers, Hurtigruten is delivering solid environmental improvements through its choice of technology and fuel,” Bellona’s maritime consultant Sigurd Enge said in the company’s press statement.

The upgrade on six of the ships is set to be completed by 2021. Hopefully, other companies will follow this example and go green.