BAR HARBOR, Maine — The world's first hybrid cruise ship is off the coast of Maine this week.
The MS Roald Amundsen, named after the famous Norwegian explorer who sailed the polar regions, is a battery-supported cruise ship, and it’s currently making its first-ever visit to Vacationland.
"I'm excited the ship is here," Sarah Flink, the executive director of CruiseMaine, said. "This ship can hold about 530 passengers and a crew of about 160."
The Norway-based transport company Hurtigruten AS, which offers expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic, owns the MS Roald Amundsen. It said the vessel was constructed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the marine transport industry.
The company said the technology on the ship reduces its consumption and CO2 emissions by 20% compared to ships of equal size.
In 2017, The German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union claimed emissions from a medium-sized cruise ship can burn as much fuel as one million cars daily.
On its website, Hurtigruten AS said they have banned non-essential single-use plastic throughout its entire operation.
“We get a few of these expedition-type ships that spend a lot of their time in the arctic or the antarctic in the main part of the season," Flink told NEWS CENTER Maine. "However, they have to get from one pole to the other, and they do what is called repositioning cruises. They still have passengers aboard, they still set up an amazing itinerary, but it’s not something they repeat. So this is sort of a one-time through.”
Flink added the MS Roald Amundsen is expected to come through Maine again in 2023.
The ship was in Eastport earlier this week. It was in Bar Harbor on Wednesday, and it's expected to be in Rockland on Thursday morning.