La Roald Amundsen, chiamata così come la prima persona che ha raggiunto il Polo Sud, è la prima nave da crociera ibrida. Avrà la possibilità di ospitare 530 passeggeri e un equipaggio di 161 persone e potrà navigare in silenzio nelle aree polari, tagliando ilmeno il 20% dei consumi.
Rolls-Royce technology is helping to power the world’s first hybrid cruise ship, launching next year. Dave Monk visited the remote Kleven shipyard in Norway to tour Hurtigruten's Polar expedition ship Roald Amundsen. Here’s what we know about it so far…
Why is the ship called Roald Amundsen?
After the Norwegian who in 1911 became the first person to reach the South Pole. She will carry 530 passengers and 151 crew.
What’s with the Rolls Royce engines?
The engines will normally run on low-emission diesel but can be topped up with electricity from a huge battery pack, cutting fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent and allowing the luxurious 530-passenger ship to coast silently and with zero emissions for up to 30 minutes in Arctic or Antarctic waters. She will sail at an average speed of 15 knots.
Why should we be excited?
Roald Amundsen will also have a science centre, an infinity pool, private hot tubs, a large observation area, underwater drones and the tallest LED screen at sea. Green credential aside, this is an ice-strengthened vessel, designed to sail in polar waters. A striking feature will be the infinity pool at the aft. There’s also an outdoor gym, running track, spa and sauna.
Who’s the captain?
54-year-old Kai Albrigtsen, who started his career as a galley assistant for the cruise line, aged 17. “No two days at ‘the office’ are the same,” he said.
What can you see from the ship?
A two-level indoor/outdoor observation deck will wrap around the top of the ship’s raked bow, giving guests fantastic views of the passing scenery. A fleet of Zodiac inflatable boats and kayaks will allow passengers to get up close to wildlife.
Tell us more about the science centre?
Universities would have to pay a fortune to send a single research vessel to Antarctica, while Roald Amundsen will regularly cross the same stretches of water, picking up vital data. Part of its work will be to analyse seawater to test for levels of plankton, krill – essential for the survival of penguins – and pollutants such as microplastics.
Can passengers get involved?
The lab is equipped with touch screens and a virtual reality station and passengers will be encouraged to become involved, for example, by taking photographs of whale fins to track the mammals’ migrations. Four large screens will help illustrate educational talks and show live footage from underwater drones sent out to investigate wildlife.
What’s the food going to be like?
Three restaurants are inspired by Nordic and Norwegian heritage. The 234-seat Aune main dining venue is named after one of Tromsø’s most important ship chandlers, Tinus Aune. Fredheim, the international kitchen, will serve street dishes, such as chicken kebab and hot dogs, from food trucks all day.
Finally, Lindstrøm – named after Amundsen’s head chef on the polar missions – is the fine-dining restaurant. Guests can also relax in the Explorer Lounge and Bar, which will serve snacks and finger food with beers, cocktails and classic drinks. All the venues feature natural Scandinavian materials such as granite, oak, birch and wool.
What are the cabins like?
All of the 265 cabins are outside facing and half have balconies. The only room finished on the ship so far is a standard cabin, that features two of the 600 artworks chosen for the ship by the Queen of Norway’s art foundation. Queen Sonja herself has been involved in the project. Aft-facing suites have their own hot tubs.
As well as the drones, Roald Amundsen will be fitted with the world’s tallest LED screen at sea, spanning seven decks, 57ft high and 21ft wide, and facing three all-glass lifts. It will stream live lectures and presentations, 360-degree panoramic images from the mast and stock film of Norway in ultra-high resolution. An extreme-zoom gyrocam will also beam images of landing sites on polar ice back to the ship. (D. Monk - The Telegraph)