A Hurtigruten vessel has this week completed the first crossing through the Arctic's Northwest Passage by a hybrid cruiseship.
The Norwegian owner said the 21,800-gt expedition ship Roald Amundsen (built 2019) "wrote a new chapter in exploration history" as the first gasoil and battery powered vessel to make the journey.
As Roald Amundsen arrived in Nome, Alaska, in the evening of 10 September, the company added that master Kai Albrigtsen made a "monumental entry" in the ship’s logbook: The first complete passage of the more than 3,000 nautical miles passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, by hybrid propulsion.
"Every expedition cruise with Hurtigruten is unique, yet this green milestone is literally making history with our guests," said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
"Only a few years ago, building cruiseships with battery packs was considered impossible; now the Roald Amundsen pays tribute to the great explorer she is named after by traversing one of the world’s most fabled stretches of sea by hybrid propulsion."
Polar pioneer Amundsen made the first complete passage along the route from 1903 to 1906.
Allbrigtsen said: "We have experienced gale winds, snow and ice. We have also witnessed spectacular sunsets, and striking scenery and wildlife.
"However, what has had the biggest impact on us, is how warmly we’ve been welcomed by the local communities along the route, just as Roald Amundsen himself was. Their unparalleled hospitality is what has made this a genuinely inspirational voyage."
The vessel has come under criticism in some quarters for its heavy use of fuel and limited use of batteries, TradeWinds has reported.
But Hurtigruten said that using batteries to support the engines, emissions are reduced by more than 20%.