YSA Design has become a key member of the team planning to build the world’s first zero-emission cruise ship following a formal invitation to join the consortium behind the Northern Xplorer venture. The Oslo-based design firm will oversee key aspects of project development, transforming the visionary concept into reality.

NX has already signed a Letter of Intent with Portugal’s West Sea shipyard to build its first 140 meter length, 250-guest capacity ship with 125 luxury cabins for the 2026 cruise season. This will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and batteries. With original interior concepts by Axel Brox, Multi Maritime has developed this cruise design for stability and performance. They have also provided the vessel’s eye-catching side view.

Multi Maritime designed the vessel’s eye-catching side view

“As coordinating architect, YSA Design is developing the GA, and offering layouts and renderings in close cooperation with designer Axel Brox,” said Trond Sigurdsen, Senior Architect, YSA Design. “With his out-of-the-box thinking on designing for hospitality, he is a breath of fresh air. Drawing on nearly 40 years of cruise experience, we are also developing the quality assurance for future construction plans.”

The ship’s ‘Destination Discovery’ ethos will be underpinning all of YSA Design’s work, added Sigurdsen. “The Northern Xplorer project is exciting on many levels. The thinking behind its Net Zero operations extends to the sustainable relationships this ship will develop with its destination communities.”

Destination inspired designs

Northern Xplorer’s profile ties the vessel closely to destinations, with its scale, itineraries and onboard facilities reflecting the small harbours and communities it visits. “The ship will be catering to the thinking traveller, who is mindful that sustainability is increasingly central to the cruise experience,” said Sigurdsen.

Designers will be specifying reusable, recyclable materials from Scandinavia, where possible. Life cycle planning for key materials will also be an important element in the building process.

Other standout features will include YSA Design’s solution for the observation deck and lounge. Here, YSA Design has given attention to maximise dramatic panoramic views. These include when the ship is close to steep mountains in narrow fjords.

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