Hurtigruten has partnered with Blueye Robotics of Norway, developing underwater drones for ocean exploration. The plan is to introduce underwater drones on Hurtigruten expedition ships, such as the hybrid powered Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen.
“Hurtigruten is building the world’s greenest and most advanced expedition ships. With the introduction of underwater drones, we are adding a new dimension for our guests,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
Developed in the extreme conditions of the Arctic Ocean where Hurtigruten has sailed for 125 years, the Blueye Pioneer drone features a combination of compact size (15 lbs.), power (four robust thrusters) and stability. The wide-angle video camera uses special technologies that work in low-light conditions and can stream true-color images live to screens on the ships, or to screens or digital diving masks worn by guests in smaller explorer boats.
“Ninety percent of the ocean remains unexplored. With underwater drones on our ships, we can take our guests to areas less explored than the surface of Mars. This provides the opportunity for adventurous guests to become real explorers,” added Skjeldam, noting that all findings and relevant video material will be made available for scientists.
Hurtigruten offers voyages to some of the world’s most remote and pristine waters and destinations, such as Antarctica, the Northwest Passage, Arctic Canada, Greenland, Svalbard and the Norwegian coast.