Norwegian start-up Northern Xplorer (NX) is planning to create a fleet of “ground-breaking” emission free cruise ships.
The company has signed a letter of intent for building their first carbon neutral ship with West Sea, a Portuguese shipbuilder. Their goal is to profit from Norway’s ban on fossil fuel ships, which will take effect from 2026, so NX wants to be fully operational by the beginning of the 2025-2026 season.
A revolutionary vessel. A vessel that has the potential to create a new paradigm for the entire maritime industry, right across the world.Northern Xplorer
Northern Xplorer has applied for patent for the emission-free technology their designs use, but, besides the carbon neutrality, it wants to revolutionise the cruise travel sector altogether, spreading the job offer across the world and accessing destinations that are not currently on other cruises‘ itineraries.
” A vessel that is not only zero emissions, but also one that demonstrates how ships in the future can be entirely energy self-sufficient – creating their own clean fuel, with no impact on the environment whatsoever. But there’s more. What if this vessel could visit beautiful areas otherwise overlooked by the tourism industry? What if it could provide local jobs, lift entire communities economically, and showcase that there’s no need to focus exclusively on existing tourist hubs, thus opening the door to new locations with zero impact on local environments? This is Northern Xplorer. This is the revolution in responsible cruise”, reads their website.
The “revolutionary” ships will be powered by fully electric propulsion systems, using hydrogen fuel and batteries. They will have a smaller capacity, of 250 to 300 guests and maximum 100 staff. It is this smaller dimension that will allow the ships to explore more remote areas and anchor at smaller harbours.
We’re proud to be taking a lead in building such an innovative and technology advanced vessel of a high standard that will have minimal impact on the environment.Vitor Figueiredo, West Sea manager
West Sea intends to build the ship at its Viana do Costello facility in the north of Porto. While NX founder Rolf André Sandvik said they are “delighted to be embarking on this exciting project with West Sea” for their modern approach and good track record, they are yet to make a final decision for the sub-suppliers. “We want to go with the newest technology as it becomes available, where possible we also aim to select the most sustainable materials available in the market”, Sandvik said at the signing of the deal.