After nearly four years of planning and development, Havila Kystruten has launched its new coastal service operating on Norway’s traditional route between Bergen and Kirkenes. The company’s first ship is currently on its maiden voyage and they recently marked the launch of the third and fourth ships from the route while setting a date for the maiden voyage of their second passenger vessel. The Norwegian government has awarded Havila a contract until 2030 to maintain competition on the route with longtime operator Hurtigruten.
Havila is building four state-of-the-art vessels in Turkey and, after several delays, finally establishes the schedule of operations. Each ship measures 15,500 gross tonnage and can carry up to 600 passengers. True to Norway’s efforts to improve the environmental performance of the maritime industry, the ships are touted as some of the greenest passenger ships ever built.
Havila’s First Ship is Norway’s first new coastal passenger ship in 18 years (Havila)
Among the features incorporated into the new ships are the world’s largest battery packs designed for passenger ships. They weigh 86 tons and have a capacity of 6.1 megawatt hours, which will allow them to sail for four hours without noise or emissions. The initial plan calls for using the batteries when navigating the fjords and port areas.
Batteries are just one of the many things the company has put into the design. They are also equipped to use shore power in port and the efficient hull design helps ships reduce NOx emissions by around 90% and CO2 emissions by around 25%. In addition to saving energy, other elements of the operation, such as all food will be served without a buffet, have also been developed to reduce waste. Havila Voyages plans to reduce food waste by a total of 60 tonnes per year.
The first ship, Havila capella left Bergen on December 12 for his first 12-day round trip to the North Cape and back. Passengers can travel between ports or cruise lines can book the ship for trips ranging from two days to seven days north or south or longer and round trips.
With the first vessel in service, Havila is looking to accelerate its efforts to reach full operation in 2022. They announced the second vessel, Havila Beaver, is due to leave Bergen for its maiden voyage on April 7. At the same time, the construction of the third and fourth ships was also a milestone this month, as they were launched at the Tershan Shipyard in Turkey. the Havila Polaris and Havila Pollux are expected to enter service by summer 2022.
Havila’s third and fourth vessels floated recently and will enter service in the summer of 2022 (Havila)