A new zero-emission passenger vessel is set to offer tourists the chance to experience Western Norway’s spectacular fjords as never before.
Launching in April 2018, The Future of the Fjords is silent running, all-electric and emission free ship. It promises to transport passengers not just through a pristine, UNESCO World Heritage listed habitat, but into an experience where they share it – being at one with the landscape, without ever impacting upon it.
“Close your eyes,” says Rolf Sandvik, CEO of The Fjords DA, which owns and operates a fleet of seven tourist ships in West Norway. “Now, imagine you’re silently passing by green mountains cascading into crystal clear waters, with clean air filling your lungs, nature’s soundtrack filling your ears, and the sensation that you are witnessing unforgettable beauty filling your heart. You are not damaging the environment that attracted you; you’re connecting with it, being a part of it. This is responsible, sustainable tourism.”
The 400 passenger capacity vessel, currently being built by specialist shipbuilder Brødrene Aa, is designed to mimic the zigzagging mountain paths it sails beside. This allows customers, including those of limited mobility/in wheelchairs, to literally climb over it and truly engage with the sensations of the fjords. Inside,the panoramic windows provide a front row view of 1800m high mountains, waterfalls, wildlife and sleepy settlements.
Built from carbon fibre, with a special hull that minimizes wake and reduces shoreline impact erosion, the Future of the Fjords marks an important step forward for environmentally friendly transportation.
“We’re determined to demonstrate that there is another way. A way of serving our customers, our landscapes and the local communities that inhabit them, so that everyone benefits. The Future of the Fjords embodies that ambition, providing a paradigm that we hope inspires other responsible tourist operators and shipowners to follow suit. That way we can enjoy the fjords, and other areas of outstanding natural beauty around the world, far into the future.”
Future of the Fjords will make around 700 round-trip voyages a year, offering easy connections with road, rail and other vessel links. Its year-round operating schedule will open up the area to visitors in off-peak periods, exposing them to the breath-taking beauty of Winter, Spring and Autumn months. Each one-way voyage will take approximately one and half hours.