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Do you want to travel to sensitive destinations in the Arctic but you’re afraid your visit might leave a big carbon footprint? Worried that expedition cruising might harm the very pristine environments you’re going to see? Well, we understand that concern and we’ve found that the solution is to travel with Hurtigruten, which is unquestionably the most environmentally-sensitive and responsible expedition cruise company we’ve run across in our years of travel. Not only do they have hybrid-powered ships that can run solely on electricity produced from biofuel as a result of fish waste, they’re taking that commitment ashore as well. Ever heard of electric snowmobiles or electric catamarans? Neither had we until now. Suddenly, an Arctic cruise is a an environmentally-friendly choice.

ELECTRIC SNOWMOBILES

Just recently, Hurtigruten committed itself to introducing battery-powered snowmobiles. The partnership is actually between Hurtigruten’s land-based adventure travel company, Hurtigruten Svalbard, and a Finnish start-up company, Aurora Powertrains. The agreement is an industry first for snowmobiles, and starts a new era of silent and emission-free exploration by snowmobiling.

Debuting this winter, Hurtigruten Svalbard’s new eSled snowmobiles will offer modern-day explorers unforgettable wilderness experiences on the fascinating Svalbard archipelago. With snowcapped mountains as the backdrop, guests will explore the Arctic winter landscape like never before, with silent and emission-free outdoor adventures under the northern lights.

To fully utilize the green potential in the sustainable operation of electric snowmobiles, Hurtigruten Svalbard will set up a separate power supply including solar panels, a windmill, and battery packs for energy storage.

ELECTRIC CATAMARANS

Earlier this year, Hurtigruten partnered with Norwegian start-up company Brim Explorer to introduce battery-powered catamarans that are custom built for polar water exploration. Set to debut in spring 2020, the 78-foot vessels will operate sustainable and silent ocean excursions from the port of Longyearbyen on the Arctic island of Svalbard, sailing under the Hurtigruten Svalbard brand.

The hybrid catamaran will feature large battery packs and will be able to recharge at virtually any port and operate on batteries for up to 10 hours with a cruising speed of 10 knots.

Brim Explorer’s first watercraft—similar to her sister, which will operate exclusively under Hurtigruten Svalbard—is currently under construction in Norway. She will offer Hurtigruten guests traveling along the Norwegian coast truly unique excursions year-round, including visits to the Lofoten Islands in the spring and summer.

With their clean and futuristic design, both vessels will feature large windows that will take all 140 guests on board closer to the elements, with as little impact as possible.

To fully capture wildlife both above and below the surface, the explorer catamarans will also feature hydrophones and underwater drones from another Norwegian start-up already partnering with Hurtigruten—Blueye Robotics. Their drones will be introduced to several of Hurtigruten’s expedition cruise ships, as well as all Brim Explorer experiences.

GREEN REVOLUTION

The electric snowmobiles and electric catamarans are the latest in a number of battery-powered technology pushes by Hurtigruten and Hurtigruten Svalbard.

Hurtigruten celebrated its 125th anniversary by banning all single-use-plastics, and in 2019, Hurtigruten  introduced MS Roald Amundsen, the world’s first hybrid electric-powered cruise ship.

In another industry first, Hurtigruten is completely rebuilding existing ships to run on a combination of large battery packs, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and biogas (LBG), the latter of which is produced from organic waste such as dead fish.

Hurtigruten and Hurtigruten Svalbard will also work closely with Brim Explorer to continuously improve and develop the green technology, such as integrating solar panels with the electric driveline to exploit the 24-hour Arctic sun to charge the batteries while sailing. Developing renewable energy stations in smaller ports for charging is another project under development.

Isn’t it about time you stopped dreaming of an expedition cruise and made the jump into a whole new, green world with Hurtigruten and Select Waterways? Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1.844.SWCRUISE (1.844.792.7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

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