Norway’s Fjord Line began service with the Stavangerfjord this past July. Running solely on LNG, the cruise ferry sails between Bergen and Stavanger in Norway and Hirtshals, Denmark. Originally set to enter service in May, construction delays pushed the introduction back.

More complications followed as existing Norwegian regulations do not allow bunkering of LNG with passengers onboard, hence the ship has been taking on LNG in Denmark by truck coming from Norway.

Denmark, as well as Sweden, allows bunkering with passengers onboard. With each truck taking an hour to transfer its load to the ship, and with 12 to 15 truckloads per week, the company has had to adjust its itineraries.

According to Fjord Line CEO Ingvald Fardal, plans called for installing a larger LNG tank in Hirtshals, which would enable faster bunkering, saving seven hours or more per week.

At press time, however, there were reports that Norway will change its restrictions, possibly allowing bunkering with passengers on the ship as early as November. That means the Stavangerfjord can bunker in Stavanger with gas trucked from nearby Risavika.

Plans are also underway with Skangass to transport gas to the ship via pipeline.

Apart from the bunkering hiccup, Fardal told Cruise Industry News that the company’s experience with the ship has all been very good.

The 25,000-ton Stavangerfjord has a four-engine powerplant rated at 22.4 MW, two 896-cubic-meter LNG tanks with ACON gas control system, and two shaft lines with steering gear and propellers.

LNG ensures that the vessel is among the most environmentally friendly ships, with substantially reduced emissions compared to ships with engines and propulsion systems that run on traditional heavy fuel oil. The company said in a prepared statement that nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions are cut by 92 percent. Sulfur emissions are eliminated altogether, and particle emissions are being reduced by 98 percent. On top of that, the technology allows for a 22 percent net reduction of CO2.

Thus, the Stavangerfjord won the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Award for 2013.

The new ship can accommodate 1,500 passengers and 600 vehicles and has a service speed of 21 knots.

>> Also in this section: Engine Developments, LNG and More.

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Fall 2013