YSA Design has become a member of the team planning to build the first zero-emission cruise ship, following a formal invitation to join the consortium behind the Northern Xplorer (NX) 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 140m 250-guest capacity ship 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 provided the eye-catching side view.
Trond Sigurdsen, Senior Architect, YSA Design, said “As coordinating architect, YSA Design is developing the GA, and offering layouts and renderings in close cooperation with designer Axel Brox. 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.
Sigurdsen added: “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. The ship will be catering to the thinking traveller, who is mindful that sustainability is increasingly central to the cruise experience.”
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.
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 features will include YSA Design’s solution for the observation deck and lounge, where attention has been given to maximise panoramic views, even when the ship is close to steep mountains in narrow fjords.