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 take oversight of key aspects of project development, helping to convert the visionary concept into reality.
NX has already signed a Letter of Intent with Portugal’s West Sea shipyard to build a first 140 meter length, 250-guest capacity ship with 125 luxury cabins for the 2026 cruise season, powered by hydrogen fuel cells and batteries. With original interior concepts by Axel Brox, its design has been developed for stability and performance by Multi Maritime, which also provided the 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.”
Underpinning all of YSA Design’s work will be the ship’s ‘Destination Discovery’ ethos, 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.”
Northern Xplorer’s profile ties the vessel closely to destinations, with its scale, itineraries and shipboard facilities reflecting the small harbours and communities which 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 have been tasked with specifying reusable materials from Scandinavia, where possible, which should also be recyclable. Life cycle planning for key materials is also considered an important element in the building process.
Other standout features will include YSA Design’s solution for the observation deck and lounge, where attention has been given to maximise dramatic panoramic views, even when the ship is close to steep mountains in narrow fjords.