May 25, 2023 – The Norwegian mail route celebrates its 130th anniversary this year. In the anniversary year, the MS Kong Harald was converted into a hybrid ship. As part of a comprehensive modernization program that will last until 2024, the mail shipping company is investing a total of 100 million euros in the "green" upgrade of its seven mail ships. MS Kong Harald is the second mail ship to have been converted to hybrid propulsion.
The statement regarding the conversion of the Hurtigruten fleet gives the impression that the sustainable operation of the fleet is particularly important to the company. In 2018, the Norwegian Parliament made the decision that cruise ships and ferries in the Norwegian fjords of the World Heritage Site must use emission-free propulsion technology by 2026 at the latest.
Hurtigruten mail ship - Kong Harald
After the MS Richard With, the MS Kong Harald is the second of seven mail ships operated by Hurtigruten Norway to be equipped with a hybrid drive. In the current year, the MS Nordlys will follow as the third ship. According to the company, the company will spend a total of one hundred million euros by 2024 on the comprehensive modernization of the fleet. The main conversion measures include the installation of battery packs, brand new engines and drive systems.
MS Richard With, the first ship to be converted to hybrid propulsion in 2022, reports significant reductions in emissions and fuel burn after conversion.
Hurtigruten mail ship - Richard With in the Geirangerfjord
The upgrading measures of the ships include, among other things, two battery packs, new engines and the use of exhaust gas cleaning systems (srubbers). The ships get new propeller blades, a different bow shape and new gears. The boiler systems will be replaced and state-of-the-art waste water treatment systems will be installed. Among other important improvements, Hurtigruten reports that all seven mail ships are equipped with shore power connections.
Hurtigruten Norway is pursuing the ambitious goal of introducing the first zero-emission mail ship by 2030.