Three high-tech vessels, all serving very different segments, have been selected as the nominees for this year’s coveted Ship of The Year title. Aker Biomarine’s krill harvesting ship Antarctic Endurance, The Fjords all electric passenger vessel Future of The Fjords, and PONANT’s expedition cruise ship Le Lapérouse complete the shortlist for the prestigious accolade, to be handed out at SMM in Hamburg on 4 September.
The Ship of The Year initiative has been running since 1997, organized by respected Norwegian trade title SKIPSREVYEN. The magazine’s subscribers nominate the most noteworthy vessels to launch over the year, with an expert jury deliberating to find a final shortlist and ultimate winner.
The jury consisted of Harald Solberg, CEO Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, Lars Gørvell-Dahll, Director Maritime Branch, Federation of Norwegian Industries, and Asle B. Strønen, chair of the jury and CEO of the Norwegian Shipbuilders Sales and Marketing Organization.
Of the three competing ships, two were constructed by VARD. The Antarctic Endurance from Vard Brattvaag is specially developed for sustainable fishing in Antarctica. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology for environmentally friendly operations, the new krill trawler is designed and built for utilizing biomass, comes with an advanced on-board production and processing facility, and boasts Eco-Harvesting technology. This is a unique trawl system utilising a special mechanism to single out any unwanted, non-krill species and release them unharmed.
Le Lapérouse is a product of Vard Søviknes and is a luxury ice-class expedition cruise vessel. It is the first ship in the Ponant Explorers Series and boasts the trailblazing ‘Blue Eye’ feature – a multi-sensorial underwater lounge allowing passengers to experience the underwater world via two portholes in the form of a cetaceous (marine mammal’s) eye. The 10,000 gwt vessel was delivered to its owners in June 2018.
Future of The Fjords is the second ship in Brødrene Aa’s Seasight design series, following on from sister vessel Vision of The Fjords, launched in 2016. However, unlike that plug-in hybrid, Future of The Fjords is a zero emission, all electric passenger ship, designed to protect and serve the Western Norwegian fjords it gives access to. In an innovative move, the vessel charges from a unique Power Dock floating battery solution, capable of charging the ship in just 20 minutes, which also stores consumables, fuel for sister vessels, and allows black water to be offloaded for treatment on land.
The winner of the Ship of the Year 2018 title will be announced at SMM’s Norwegian pavilion at 12.00, Tuesday 4 September