Dawn of a new era of expedition cruising

The <i>Roald Amundsen</i> is optimised for expedition cruising in environmentally sensitive regions. The Roald Amundsen is optimised for expedition cruising in environmentally sensitive regions.
Industry Database

The entry into service of Norwegian cruise and ferry operator Hurtigruten’s new battery hybrid cruise vessel, Roald Amundsen marks a significant evolution in the expedition cruise market.

The technical specification, design and performance of the Roald Amundsen is the culmination of Hurtigruten’s extensive experience of expeditionary cruises into the Arctic Circle, and the distinctive environmentally engaged vision of the group.

The 20,889gt vessel is the largest vessel deployed in Hurtigruten’s fleet to date, providing greater spaciousness. All of the staterooms and suites are located on the outside of the vessel and half have a private balcony. The new vessel’s interior design was developed by Hurtigruten’s long-time collaborator, Tillberg Design, and combines polar chic with understated Nordic elements.

Launched at Kleven yard, Roald Amundsen began its first commercial voyage from Tromso on 3 July. Ordered three years ago, the company expects the vessel to serve North and Central America, South America, Iceland and Greenland, the Northwest Passage, Canada and Alaska, and Antarctica. Once the Roald Amundsen’s sister vessel Fridtjof Nansen enters service in April 2020, the company will also increase its coverage of Norway’s coast, where it will be well positioned to take advantage of upcoming environmental restrictions, and other European destinations. The Fridtjof Nansen will also serve Antarctica, Iceland and Greenland.

The vessel also features a distinctive bow design that improves the vessel’s stability when pitching into waves.

Classed by DNV GL, Roald Amundsen is the first expeditionary cruise vessel to be built with a battery hybrid solution. The two rooms of 627kWh of battery power installed on the Roald Amundsen will be used for peak shaving and will improve fuel efficiency by around 20% compared to the same design without batteries. As the vessel is expected to be stationary for up to 50% of the operational time, there are opportunities for additional efficiencies once the battery capacity is upgraded.

Power for the two propulsion drivelines, two bow thrusters and other consumers is sourced from four main Bergen B33:45 engines, each capable of generating up to 3600kW.

Employing two 3MW AZP120-L Azipull main propulsors that incorporate permanent magnet (PM) motors, plus two 1,500kW tunnel thrusters at the bow, Roald Amundsen is highly manoeuvrable and offers a 15-knot cruising speed.


Length overall


Length bp


Breadth, moulded


Depth, moulded




Gross tonnage


Passenger berths




Propulsion system

Azimuth (4 x 3600kW main generators)

Propulsion power

2 x 3,000kW

Maximum speed


Bow thrusters

2 x 1500kW






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