Protecting the fjords
The most innovative commitment Flåm has recently made to minimise its environmental footprint is its investment in two eco-friendly vessels that now sail in the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord between Flåm and Gudvangen. The first vessel was “Vision of the Fjords” in 2016 followed by the sister vessel “Future of The Fjords” in 2018. Vision of the Fjords is a hybrid vessel that runs on electricity and diesel on a 50/50 basis. Future of the Fjords took it one step further:
“Vision of The Fjords was an important development for us but we wanted to take it one step further and replace diesel-electric propulsion with all-electric propulsion – thus eradicating all noise and emissions into the air along the entire route. Future of The Fjords does just that, minimising its environmental impact while maximising the passenger experience. Passengers can now glide silently over the water and get closer to nature than ever before”, states Rolf Sandvik, CEO of The Fjords.
We met with passengers on board Future of the Fjords on a warm, sunny day in June 2018. These passengers were fulfilling their dream of visiting the fjords of Western Norway. One of them was Lee, a happy fellow from California. Little did he know he was sitting on a pioneering electric vessel, at least, not until we asked him what he thought about the silence on board resulting from the vessel's electric motor:
"Really, is it? So that’s why it’s so quiet! That’s amazing," said Lee.
Lee wasn’t the only American to travel all the way from California to Flåm and who was on board Future of the Fjords on this beautiful day in the Nærøyfjord. We met with Katie and Ben Brackin, a couple from Newport, California. They were greatly impressed by the fjord and the vessel on which they were travelling:
"This boat is phenomenal. The fact that it’s all-electric really made a difference to us when we were selecting a boat trip. This is because you get to hear more of nature, you hear the water, you hear the wind and you hear the seagulls flying by," explained Katie.
"You don’t even realise you're on a boat. It feels like you're just floating on the water because you don’t hear it," added her husband, Ben.