Fjord Line took delivery of the new MS Bergensfjord, the second of two eco-friendly cruise ferries built for the Norwegian shipping line by the Bergen Group Fosen shipyard in Rissa, Norway.
“The completion of the ship went faster than expected, so we are looking into the possibility of putting it into service earlier than planned,” says Fjord Line CEO Ingvald Fardal.
The Bergensfjord’s identical sister ship, MS Stavangerfjord, is already in service after it started sailing the Bergen-Stavanger-Hirtshals route and Hirtshals-Langesund routes in July 2013.
Fardal says having both ships in operation will allow the company to reach its goal of offering daily departures for passengers and freight from all four ports.
“This marks the beginning of a new era in ferry traffic between Norway and the EU that will be of great importance to both the tourism and business sectors. The sale of tickets for the summer months already looks extremely promising in Norway and continental Europe,” says Fardal.
After Monday’s delivery at Rissa, in central Norway, the Bergensfjord casts off today and sets sail for Hirtshals, Denmark. In the weeks to come, Fjord Line will concentrate on fitting out the remaining equipment and drilling the ship’s crew in all aspects of operations and safety procedures. The new cruise ferry’s first regularly scheduled departure is currently slated for Thursday, 3 April from Bergen.
“We are very pleased that Bergen Group Fosen has been able to deliver the ship in accordance with the schedule agreed on last summer. That gives us enough time to run in technical equipment and conduct quality control of all operations and logistics. If possible, we will put the ship into service earlier than currently planned,” says Fardal.
World’s most environmentally friendly
Fjord Lines’ two new and identical cruise ferries are both equipped with engines powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG engines reduce NOx emissions by 92 percent compared to engines powered by traditional heavy fuel oil. Emissions of sulfur are eliminated completely, while particulate emissions are cut 98 percent. The technology Fjord Line uses also reduces emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2) by 23 percent. So air pollution will be minimal at sea as well as in port, helping to make these cruise ferries the world’s most environmentally friendly of their kind.
The new ships, which are 170 meters long, are perfectly designed to handle North Sea waves and provide passengers with a smooth and stable voyage. Each ship has space for 1,500 passengers, with 306 cabins and a vehicle deck for up to 600 cars, trucks and cargo.
Fjord Line, February 4, 2014