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How to cruise Norway the green way

Norwegian fjords cruises are intensely popular for good reason thanks to Norway’s dramatic and beautiful landscapes – but how environmentally friendly are cruise ships that sail there?

Ambassador Cruise Line launched in spring 2022 and intends to be amongst the most sustainable cruise lines in the business.

This isn’t just good for the oceans, it’s good for you too. Ambassador has invested in upgrades to ensure first ship Ambience complies with the highest emissions standards worldwide – IMO Tier III, if you must know.

This, along with its smaller size, means the vessel can visit pristine corners of the Norwegian fjords that larger, less sustainable lines cannot (could one say they’re green with envy?), as Norway clamps down on highly polluting floating hotels.

In fact, the Ambassador cruise ship is now in the top 10 to 15 percent of environmentally sustainable ships! Here’s how Britain’s newest cruise line is achieving eco-friendly cruises.

Ambassador cruises to Norway

Cruise sustainability

Industry emission standards require brands such as Ambassador to reduce pollution (namely nitrogen oxides, a group of gases mainly formed during the combustion of fossil fuels) by 70 percent. However, Ambassador Cruise Line has gone one step further, slashing Ambience’s emissions by 95 percent for her first sailing in April 2022.

To get technical about it, the main modifications from upgrades have resulted in an overall seven percent fuel reduction, 80 percent less sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions and an annual CO2 emission reduction of 5.358 tons.

Nope, we don’t exactly know what all this means either but it certainly sounds impressive and it’s all served to significantly relieve the impact the cruise line leaves on the oceans. Hooray!

However, the sustainable initiatives don’t stop there. Onboard food pulpers have been replaced by “Bio Digesters” to break down food waste into water and heat, and advanced sewage installations have been implemented.

There are no single-use plastics on the cruise ship and bottle washers have been installed onboard with Ambassador’s own bottling plant for both still and sparkling water. As we said, good for the ocean and good for you as guests can feel both responsible and hydrated! Go on, have another.

In a bid to go paperless, the cruise line is also currently developing onboard technology to help reduce its impact on the environment (we’re thinking this doesn’t mean Stars Wars-esque holograms of folks back home yet though, alas).

Lastly, to comply with forthcoming EEXI Regulations (Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index), Ambience will implement shaft power limitation – limiting the power by 25 percent. The ship traditionally operated at 18.5 knots, but this has changed to 16.25 knots average speed. Hey, more time for admiring the scenery (or a third cocktail).

Ambassador Cruise Line

Norwegian Fjords cruises

So where in the Norwegian Fjords can guests voyage on an Ambassador cruise?

Thanks to the brand’s smaller, environmentally compliant ships, travelers can sail in Norway’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed fjords.

Interestingly, the country has adopted a resolution that only allows zero-emission cruise ships and ferries to sail here by 2026 at the latest, making the fjords among the world’s first zero-emission zones at sea. This makes Ambassador’s commitment to sustainable cruising at this time even more important.

Geirangerfjord, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2005, is one such fjord and can be visited with Ambassador.

Located in south-western Norway, Geirangerfjord is home to steep, towering mountainsides, plunging, almighty waterfalls and deep, blue waters – all ripe for adventure.

The Seven Sisters is one of the most famous waterfalls, comprising seven streams with an average fall of around 250 meters. According to legend, these sisters were all unmarried despite attempts by neighboring waterfall The Suitor to woo the siblings as they danced on the mountain. Talk about independent ladies.

A third spectacular waterfall in Geirangerfjord is the Bridal Veil, so-called due to the appearance of a thin veil cascading over the cliff edge when the water is backlit by the sun.

Cruising a fairytale landscape in comfort all the while knowing you’re sailing with a sustainable cruise line? Good for you indeed.

Published 05.26.22