Travel Blog

Who Claims The Title Of First Battery Powered Ship?

And the title goes to…….Hurtigruton! Today, the leader in exploration travel revealed images of the world’s first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship, MS Roald Amundsen. The ship features state-of-the-art green technology consisting of large battery packs that compensate for spinning reverse and aid in peak shaving. Extra electric power generated from these batteries will allow the engines to function at optimal levels and in turn reduce fuel usage and CO2 emissions exponentially. The ship can also run at full battery power for short periods of time, adding to its already minimal carbon footprint.

More from James Shillinglaw from Insider Travel Report:

MS Roald Amundsen is named after polar hero Roald Amundsen, who led the first expedition to navigate the Northwest Passage, the first expedition to the South Pole, and the first expedition proven to have reached the North Pole. Starting this summer, the ship will explore some of the most spectacular areas of the planet using battery packs to support her low-emission engines. The hybrid propulsion will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 20 percent, compared with other ships of the same size.

MS Roald Amundsen displaces 20,889 gross registered tons and can carry up to 530 guests in 265 cabins served by 151 crew. It has a maximum cruise speed of 15 knots and is rated PC-6 ice class. The ship’s features include a high-tech Science Center, three restaurants, Explorer Lounge, observation decks, gym and Wellness Center, sauna with panoramic window, infinity pool, two hot tubs, aft-facing suites with private outdoor hot tubs, and a laidback atmosphere that creates the special Hurtigruten onboard feel.

Hurtigruten took delivery of the MS Roald Amunden last week from Norway’s Kleven yard. She has been built alongside sister ship MS Fridtjof Nansen, set to debut in 2020.

Hurtigruten captain Kai Albrigtsen was at the helm as MS Roald Amundsen left the yard for her maiden voyage along the Norwegian coast. “To captain a new ship and bring her from the shipyard is always an honor,” Albrigtsen said. “With MS Roald Amundsen being a green pioneer, this moment is truly special to me and the rest of the crew. I am extremely impressed with the ship, the technology, and how she handles. We are all really looking forward to welcoming the first guests on board and creating life-long memories together.”

MS Roald Amundsen’s maiden season includes expedition cruises along the Norwegian coast, and to Svalbard and Greenland, before becoming the first hybrid electric–powered ship to attempt a traverse of the famed Northwest Passage, following in the wake of namesake explorer Roald Amundsen’s famed expedition.

In addition to eco-friendly expedition cruises along the west coast of North and South America, with destinations larger cruise ships cannot reach, MS Roald Amundsen will head to the extreme south for the full 2019/2020 Antarctica season, beginning in October.

Airbnb vs. The Travel Agency

Airbnb vs. The Travel Agency

An OG of the travel industry with over 30 years invested in the business, Sherri Barber shares her thoughts on Airbnb's recent launch of "Airbnb Adventures" and what it means for the conventional travel agency. We're not throwing shade at Airbnb; we're just asking the logical questions that any of our clients might ask and we're comparing/contrasting the differences between what Airbnb offers vs. what we as a travel agency offer.

A Three Step Hop from Hoi An to Hanoi, Part Two

A Three Step Hop from Hoi An to Hanoi, Part Two

My initial plans for Vietnam only included Hoi An and Hue, to focus on central Vietnam during my short trip.  When booking my flights, I found out I could fly direct from Guangzhou to Da Nang, but no direct flights were offered in the reverse direction.  In order to return to Guangzhou to catch my flight home to SFO, I had to travel either south to Hoi Chi Minh or north to Hanoi from Hue. So that’s how I reluctantly wound up in Hanoi, the large, bustling, crowded capital city.

Crystal Cruises Names Captain Of Expedition Yacht Crystal Endeavor

Crystal Cruises Names Captain Of Expedition Yacht Crystal Endeavor

Crystal Cruises has named a Captain for its groundbreaking expedition yacht, the Crystal Endeavor. Captain Thomas Larsen will lead the Endeavor on her maiden voyage from Tokyo in August of 2020.

Scenic Eclipse Passes Important Milestone

Scenic Eclipse Passes Important Milestone

After being hit with seemingly endless problems at the shipyard, Scenic Cruises can at last breathe a deep sigh of relief. Yesterday, the Scenic Eclipse, what the company calls the world’s first Discovery Yacht, completed its ever important sea trails with flying colors. This news comes amidst a year of setbacks, as construction delays and strikes at the Croatian shipyard where the Eclipse was being built forced Scenic to delay the ships launch date. Now, it appears the August 15, 2019 official launch date will become reality, which should please some disgruntled Scenic patrons.

Announcing UnCruise Adventures

Announcing UnCruise Adventures

Hi travelers! We have some very exciting news to share and it involves trying out something new. A big part of our job here at Cruises & Beyond is to understand the travel products that we share with you. In about one month’s time, we’ll be joining one of our newest travel partners, UnCruise Adventures, on a 7 day expedition style cruise to the Hawaiian islands of Molokai, Lana’i, Maui and Hawai’i (the Big Island).

Hawaii: O'ahu Snapshot

Hawaii: O'ahu Snapshot

As many of you travelers out there know, Southwest Airlines recently made waves in the domestic market by launching it’s multi-island service from the west coast to Hawaii. Their much-anticipated entry caused other carriers to slash prices, so much so that finding fares under $300 round-trip was commonplace for a solid two week period. Since we haven’t been to Hawaii in quite a while, and since our only attention to the islands came with our round-trip SF and LA cruise promotions, we decided to take advantage of the improbable airfare and booked ourselves a week-long stay. We would familiarize ourselves with the lay of the land and get to know Oahu in ways that you, our clients, would enjoy.

A Three Step Hop from Hoi An to Hanoi, Part One

A Three Step Hop from Hoi An to Hanoi, Part One

My plan of six whirlwind nights in Vietnam worked out to 36 hours to explore in each city: Hoi An, an UNESCO World Heritage Site; Hue, the former royal capital and another UNESCO Site; and finally Hanoi, the current capital of Vietnam.  I always look for a walking tour at new destinations and for this journey, I lined up a street food tour in each city. History, culture and food in one go!

United Airlines Boasts "Most Eco-Friendly Commercial Flight"

United Airlines Boasts "Most Eco-Friendly Commercial Flight"

This week, United Airlines has carried out a flight combining the use of aviation biofuel, cabin waste reduction, carbon offsetting and operational efficiencies. The “Flight for the Planet,” a Beoing 737-900ER based out of LAX, was powered by a 30/70 blend of low-carbon, sustainable aviation fuel, which achieves more than a 60% reduction in greenhouse-gas emisions on a lifecycle basis compared to traditional jet fuel. The fuel is developed by Boston-based World Energy. United recently renewed their contract with them with an agreement to purchase up to 10 million gallons, making them the only U.S. airline to use biofuel in its regular operations.

Discover the Unparalleled AmaWaterways Rhine River Experience

Discover the Unparalleled AmaWaterways Rhine River Experience

Oceans take travelers to destinations, but AmaWaterways' Rhine River cruises take them through the most iconic landscapes of Germany, France and the Netherlands with privileged access to destinations only a river cruise can provide. Phenomenal local guides lead guests to storybook castles, noteworthy vineyards and medieval villages untouched by time, making an AmaWaterways Rhine River cruise nothing short of a spectacular experience.