GEAR | Hybrid propulsion to be installed on Hurtrigruten Svalbard’s newest high-speed tour boat

Photo: Volvo Penta

Volvo Penta will supply an advanced, hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system for Hurtigruten Svalbard’s new sightseeing vessel, which will begin a pilot test in Svalbard in May 2022.

The Marell-built tour boat Kvitbjørn (“Polar Bear”) will be powered by a Volvo Penta twin D4-320 DPI Aquamatic hybrid solution that will deliver a top speed of 32 knots and a cruising speed of 25 knots. This will enable the vessel to run even in sub-zero temperatures with an extensive range of 500 nautical miles.

The new boat will run for more than 1,000 hours during the tourist season from May 1 to October 31.

All the interfaces between the hybrid drive and supporting systems were developed through close collaboration between Marell Boats and Volvo Penta. These include the charging, ventilation, heating, and air-conditioning systems.

The complete power drivetrain solution for the vessel is based on the Volvo Penta D4/D6 Aquamatic DPI package.

The Volvo Penta DPI package features a hydraulic clutch for silent and smooth shifting at low engine speeds, as well as added manoeuvrability ideal for slow cruising when wildlife watching. Steer-by-wire technology will provide precise joystick functionality, delivering greater control.

The boat is currently at Volvo Penta’s marine test facility in Krossholmen, Gothenburg, Sweden. Soon, it will make its way to Marell Boats in Östhammar, where it will undergo further checks ahead of delivery in May 2022.

When Hurtigruten Svalbard receives the boat, the company will then put it through its own detailed checks.

Click here for the other news, features and reviews comprising this month’s Passenger Vessel Week.

Baird Maritime Gear Editor

The latest maritime gear and service news from across the globe.