Norway has taken the audacious decision to ban all polluting ships from the UNESCO World Heritage fjords. The resolution will impact the cruise and ferry industry heavily, way beyond these fjords.
Polluting ships? You might be thinking of a 50-year old veteran ferry. In fact even a modern LNG-powered ship will no longer be welcome in famous fjords as the Geirangerfjord or the Nærøyfjord. In the near future, these fjords will only be accessible for ships producing zero emissions. ZERO!
When? Latest 2026, and if feasible before.
The only zero-emission energy so far is electricity. Either a ship is fully relying on batteries, or a ship is hybrid. In that case fossil fuel could be used outside, and once in these protected fjords, the energy source would be electricity.
For the global cruise industry Norway’s decision is quite a blow. There are no electric cruise ships. Especially the Geirangerfjord will be hit hard. Last year, 181 cruise calls were registered. That is excluding the daily calls of the Hurtigruten ships.
But let’s be honest, anyone who has been in Geiranger can only but agree: cruise ship smoke is an issue.