Zero-emissions cruise ship with retractable solar sails launched in 2030

By traveling on modern cruise ships, we inevitably leave our (carbon) footprint, in an ironic twist of fate destroying the nature we have come to admire.

That could soon change, at least along Norway’s beautiful fjord landscape. Weeks ahead of its 130th anniversary, cruise line Hurtigruten has unveiled the concept design for its first-ever zero-emission ship.

Cruise ships are below the most polluting way of travelling. They use massive amounts of fuel and produce a ridiculous amount of waste. Noise pollution from the engines disturbs marine life, damages the sensitive hearing of dolphins and killer whales and destroys entire ecosystems.

Meanwhile, some economies depend on cruise ships and their passengers. Norway as a whole may not be fully dependent on Hurtigruten revenues. However, the communities along the route rely on regular visits from the cruise ships for their livelihoods.

Batteries supplemented with sun and wind

Meet Sea Zero, “the most energy-efficient cruise ship in the world,” according to Hurtigruten and its 12 maritime partners for the project. The ship will have 60 watt batteries that will be charged with renewable energy (while Norway is a huge oil and gas exporter, 98% of domestic energy consumption comes from renewable sources) in the harbour.

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Rendering of Sea Zero in the fjords