In Mid-May 2018 the fully electric, zero emission «Future of The Fjords» welcomes its first tourists to the picturesque journey between Gudvangen and Flåm on the western coast of Norway.
The Servogear Ecoflow PropulsorTM equipped vessel «Future of The Fjords» was delivered in April 2018 and is the world’s first zero-emission cruise vessel of its kind.
– If you haven’t heard the propellers today, I am very happy, Servogear CEO Torleif Stokke said to international press during the official press event arranged by ship owner The Fjords. It was only days before the vessel was put into traffic.
Energy and comfort
The journalists were greeted by bright, sunny weather on the UNESCO-protected Nærøyfjord in Norway. Even with low or little wind, there were no apparent noise from the propulsion system. The delivery consists of Servogear’s controllable pitch propellers, shaft brackets, effect rudders, propeller tunnels and gearboxes. During the Q&A the journalists were particularly interested in energy efficiency.
– An energy efficient propulsion system is an important enabler for the use of battery technology in low- or zero-emission vessels. In addition to low energy usage, the system produces few vibrations and is so silent that you could have performed an opera onboard, Stokke says smiling.
A ship builder with high standards
The world’s first emission-free cruise vessel is a result of the visions of operator The Fjords and the capabilities of shipbuilder Brødrene Aa, recognized for their fast ferries and use of low weight materials.
– It is simply amazing how you can stand on deck while moving and hear only the sounds of the sea and the nature, Tor Øyvin Aa, says. He is one of the founders of shipbuilder Brødrene Aa.
The carbon composite experts are a customer with high standards, and Aa says that they are very happy with the performance of “Future of The Fjords”.
– Servogear helped us meet the requirements of the operator, regarding speed and power output from the electrical motor and managed all that with lowest noise level possible. Working closely with Servogear for almost 40 years, we know what they are capable of. They are good at giving us the important numbers on power output and efficiency. They are good at designing propeller tunnels, allowing us to use larger propellers, for improved efficiency, Tor Øyvind Aa says.
A visionary ship owner
The tour operator The Fjords took a leap into the future when they launched their first battery hybrid vessel «Vision of the Fjords» in 2016. When they took delivery on «Future of The Fjords» in April 2018, they preceded the recent decision in the Norwegian parliament, saying that that cruise traffic on Norwegian fjords must be emission-free before 2026.
– With the Servogear propulsion system we need less energy to achieve the same reach for the batteries compared to the propulsion solution on the first vessel. It gives us better regularity and operational efficiency, Rolf Sandvik, CEO of The Fjords says.
He explains that when selecting Servogear, The Fjords listened to their owner, the large ferry operator Fjord1, and the shipyard of Brødrene Aa. Both with long-lasting experiences with Servogear equipment.
– Servogear was the only company we had on our maker’s list when we went to the yard this time. We have had many good suppliers, and Servogear is an important part of the success, Sandvik explains.