VESSEL REFIT | Richard With – Hurtigruten Norway coastal ship rejoins fleet after battery hybrid upgrade

Photo: Hurtigruten/Robert Cranna
Photo: Hurtigruten/Robert Cranna

Hurtigruten Norway, the coastal cruise brand of Norwegian shipping line Hurtigruten, has welcomed the 11,200GT Ro-Pax ferry Richard With back into its fleet following an extensive upgrade program that also included the installation of a battery hybrid propulsion system in compliance to both local environmental regulations and IMO Tier III standards.

The refit on the 1993-built vessel named in honour of Hurtigruten founder Richard With was carried out at the facilities of local shipyard Myklebust Verft over a span of approximately six months. Aside from being fitted with new engines and two large 1,120kWh battery packs, the vessel now also has selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, new propeller blades, a new bulbous bow, improved boilers, a retractable azimuthing thruster at the stern, an energy management system, new switchboards, and an advanced wastewater treatment plant. Hurtigruten said the new propulsion arrangement reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by approximately 25 per cent while NOx emissions are reduced by at least 80 per cent. This configuration also results in quieter sailings.

<em>Photo: Hurtigruten</em>
Photo: Hurtigruten

The propulsion upgrade is the latest refurbishment work completed on Richard With following an earlier upgrade in 2018 encompassing the incorporation of additional guest spaces and modifications to existing spaces. On deck six, a number of cabins had been merged into 14 larger suites, some with large bay windows and near-unobstructed views. One of the restaurants underwent its own complete refurbishment and now boasts deck-to-ceiling windows. Two new lecture halls and a larger information and shopping area have been added on deck four. Lastly, the existing floor areas of the gym and the sauna have been increased and two aft-facing outdoor hot tubs have been added.

As an expedition ship, Richard With will sail with an embarked team of lecturers and other experts in addition to the 60-strong crew. The expedition staff will advise the guests on upcoming activities and destinations that will form part of each itinerary.

Other onboard facilities include observation lounges with panoramic windows, restaurants, a cafe, a bar, shops, a sun deck, and conference rooms. Accommodation options for the 458 guests include suites and two- and three-person single staterooms. Lastly, a maximum of 45 cars, each measuring 6.4 metres long, can be accommodated on the vehicle deck.

Six other coastal vessels from the Hurtigruten Norway fleet will undergo a similar propulsion refit program, which will be concluded in 2024.

<em>Photo: Hurtigruten</em>
Photo: Hurtigruten
Richard With
SPECIFICATIONS
Type of vessel:Ro-Pax ferry
Flag:Norway
Owner:Hurtigruten, Norway
Operator:Hurtigruten Norway
Builder:Myklebust Verft, Norway
Length overall:121.8 metres
Beam:19.2 metres
Gross tonnage:11,200
Capacity:45 cars
Maximum speed:18 knots
Batteries:2 x 1,120 kWh
Other equipment installed:Selective catalytic reduction systems; wastewater treatment plant
Accommodation:Suites; staterooms; observation lounges; restaurants; café; bar; shops; conference rooms
Crew:60
Passengers:458
Operational area:Norway

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