The zero-emission sightseeing boat Future of The Fjords transports tourists around a UNESCO World Heritage fjord in Norway.
For holiday destinations across the world, the environmental and social impact of tourism is huge. In an extreme case like Venice, a city centre with 55 000 residents receives 60 000 tourists every day.
The influx of so many people presents multiple challenges, including increased pollution.
In the winding fjords of Western Norway, a ground-breaking innovation in sustainable tourism is underway.
Future of The Fjords, a fully electric catamaran holding up to 400 passengers, entered service in May 2018. The ferry operates a route in the inner reaches of the world’s second largest fjord, Sognefjorden, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Future of The Fjords can run at speeds up to 16 knots for 30 nautical miles, thanks to a 1 900-kWh battery pack – about 40 times more than an average electric car. The battery powers two electric engines with a total of 1 170 horsepower.
The sightseeing ferry is charged by a newly developed “Powerdock” system – a 40-metre glass fibre dock equipped with a 700-kWh battery bank connected to the local power grid. The ferry is fully charged in only 20 minutes, allowing for regular departures with new groups of tourists.
The ferry was designed and built by Brødrene Aa based on its Seasight concept. It is operated by The Fjords.
The key benefit of Future of The Fjords is being able to transport large groups of tourists through a UNESCO World Heritage site without any environmental impact
The powerful engine and simple charging system enable continuous operation, avoiding hold-ups of tourists and overcrowding in potential bottlenecks.
Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries, generating more than 10 per cent of global GDP. At the same time, the environmental impact of tourism continues to grow. Zero-emission transport of tourists will only become more important in years to come.
The successor to Future of The Fjords – Legacy of The Fjords – is being built by Brødrene AA and is scheduled for delivery in 2020. A shipyard founded in 1947 in Western Norway, Brødrene AA is now a world leader in fast ferries made of carbon fibre composites.
11. Sustainable cities and communities
Zero-emission transport helps to protect the world’s cultural and natural heritage from the environmental impact of tourism.
14. Life below water
Electric engines prevent local pollution from fossil fuel engines.
8. Decent work and economic growth
Sustainable tourism creates jobs.