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Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten has launched the first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship, the 530-passenger MS Roald Amundsen. The vessel traversed the Northwest Passage and as it arrived in Nome, Alaska, Captain Kai Albrigtsen made a monumental entry in the ship’s logbook: The first complete crossing 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. Only a few years ago, building cruise ships with battery packs was considered impossible; now, MS 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,” says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

The vessel is named for the Norwegian explorer who was the first person to navigate the Northwest Passage by boat and the first person to cross Antarctica and reach the South Pole.

Equipped with large battery packs and innovative technology, MS Roald Amundsen has made global green waves in the cruise and shipping industry after she launched earlier this summer. Using batteries to support her engines, emissions are reduced by more than 20 percent.

Having traversed the Northwest Passage, MS Roald Amundsen will continue to sail further along the coast of North and South America, before spending the winter offering one-of-a-kind expedition cruises in Antarctica. In the summer of 2020, it  will then return to North America, for a series of expedition cruises in Alaska.

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