The delivery of ferry operator The Fjords’ all-electric Legacy of The Fjords has been delayed until next year due to “issues finalising the required battery-loading infrastructure within the Oslo harbour area”.
Legacy of The Fjords was originally to be delivered from shipyard Brødrene Aa on 2 July this year – but has been pushed back to 1 May 2020.
The Fjords – which currently operates 11 vessels serving Western Norway’s fjords area – explained that “issues finalising the required battery-loading infrastructure within the Oslo harbour area have led to a reappraisal of the launch schedule”.
Legacy of The Fjords shares the design of sister vessels Vision of The Fjords, an electric diesel hybrid, and Future of The Fjords, the world’s first all-electric carbon fibre catamaran.
“It’s naturally disappointing to have to delay this launch,” commented The Fjords acting chief executive Vidar Hauståker. “But at the same time it is vitally important to have everything in place for this environmentally friendly, energy efficient and breathtaking new craft.
“To maximise the commercial potential of the launch we, with the backing of Brødrene Aa, have decided to hold back its arrival until 2020 so we can gain the optimal value from a full high season of operations. Our close partnership with the yard has enabled us to reach this joint decision, ensuring that all the elements are in place for a maximum impact launch – with a vessel unlike anything else on the capital city’s fjord – in 2020.
“We’re looking forward to that with a real sense of excitement and anticipation.”
Vision of The Fjords, which usually operates within the UNESCO World Heritage listed Nærøyfjord, has trialled a new route in Oslo over the winter months with “great success”. It is now due to move back to its homeport of Flåm for the main tourist season at the end of April.
“This pilot project has demonstrated that the appetite for a new kind of tourism proposition, viewing Oslo from a unique perspective, on a ship tailored to provide optimal passenger experience, is definitely there,” noted Mr Hauståker.
Speaking of his firm’s collaboration with The Fjords, Brødrene Aa chief executive Tor Øyvind Aa noted “The Fjords is an important customer and valued partner and we look forward to the on-going development of our productive, and ground breaking, working relationship. Legacy of The Fjords’ delay does not impact upon the business adversely, as our highly skilled staff have ongoing projects filling capacity at the company yard in Hyen. We will now focus our efforts on ensuring a successful launch in 2020.”
The Fjords is jointly owned by tourist body Flåm AS and Norway ferry company Fjord1.