Lonely Planet Writer

A zero-emission passenger ferry aims to show off and protect Norway’s incredible fjords

If you want to explore Norway’s fjords without harming the pristine natural environment, a new zero-emission passenger ship launching in 2018 will be just the thing.

A cruise ship passes through Geiranger fjord in Norway.
The Unesco-listed Geiranger fjord, Norway. Image by ©Andrey Armyagov/Shutterstock

The ship, called Future of The Fjords, will be built by The Fjords company and is set to launch in April 2018. The 42-metre boat will be completely electric and emission-free, according to the company, which currently operates a hybrid vessel that switches from diesel to electric power when entering Nærøyfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The new environmentally-friendly ship will contain a hull that minimises wake and the erosion of shorelines. It will be able to carry up to 400 passengers and show off many views of the Western Norwegian fjords, a popular attraction for tourists in the area. The ship will travel along fjord route between Flåm and Gudvangen and is expected to undertake about 700 trips per year.

Rendering of the Future of the Fjords.
The Future of the Fjords is a zero-emissions passenger ship that will ready in 2018. Image by The Fjords

“It not only provides an optimal passenger experience, with the only noise being the fjords’ natural soundtrack, but it also showcases a new, zero-emissions way to enjoy and safeguard this fragile landscape,” said The Fjords CEO Rolf Sandvik in a statement. The Fjords is co-owned by Norway’s largest ferry company and Flåm AS, the local tourism board, and currently operates seven tourism and transport vessels in the Western Norwegian fjords.

Two of Norway’s incredible fjords, Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord, are Unesco-listed. As two of the world’s longest and deepest, they are considered to be some of the most incredible in the world. Unesco notes that “tourism pressures are intense in both fjords, but impacts are limited as most visitors access the property on cruise ships during a short visitor season”, noting that tourism management plans are necessary for the site.