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Viking-themed, zero-emission, superyacht concept features giant solar cell sails

[Sept 14, 2021: Todd Halterman]

A reimagined Viking longship could be an option for future travelers (CREDIT: Kurt Strand Design)

At 528 feet in length, this superyacht concept ‘Norway’ by designer Kurt Strand, came from the inspiration provided by the flat-bottomed ships which plied the seas in the Viking Age.

According to Strand, he’s long been impressed by those hardy Viking vessels and their powerful square sails. But this version features ‘space-age technology’ in the form of solar sails that let the enormous ship set off around the oceans of the world without creating environmentally damaging emissions.

If you’ve never heard of Kurt Strand, it may be because you’ve never been in possession of the means to go yacht shopping. Strand has been designing yachts, superyachts, sailboats, and a variety of stylish watercraft for decades.

This vision is yet another example of what’s becoming known as ‘eco-friendly yachting’. The Norway is a slick superyacht topped off by a triad of electro-hydraulic carbon-fiber masts. Each of them stands 315 feet (96 meters) tall and can be rotated as needed to follow the sun. Each of the masts is conceived to support more than 60,000 square feet (5,574 sqaure meters) of sails which include a flexible solar cell foil material.


In his thinking, a push-button setup will enable the sails to be deployed or stowed away in less than six minutes, and Strand says the design is also attractive in that it will require a smaller crew to operate than does a standard sail-rigged yacht.

The unique 528 ft-long design was the brainchild of Kurt Stand, a Norwegian currently based in Florida who says he's 'always' been impressed by the beauty of Viking ships (CREDIT: Kurt Strand Design)

Solar energy captured via the sails is stored in a battery bank onboard, and Stand envisions a system that can also use electric energy to produce hydrogen. The designer says that, should the wind or sun fail to appear in required quantities, Norway will operate on power supplied by three multi-fuel generators which could also be fueled by diesel, liquified natural gas or - ideally - eco-friendly hydrogen. Strand says that should ideal weather conditions prevail the huge yacht might actually produce more clean energy than it would use.

The design calls for two retractable keels with stabilizers to allow the ship to precisely navigate shallow waters.

And if you’re wondering how it might function as a passenger vessel, Strand’s design calls for accommodations that would sleep up to 24 guests across a dozen lavish suites - as well as providing berths for 40 crew members.


The center of Norway is designed around a circular two-story lobby which includes a bar with panoramic ocean views.

Up to 24 guests can be accommodated in the 12 luxury suits on board and they can have a tipple in the two-story high bar where stunning views can be seen from both sides of the yacht.

The ship includes a gym, spa, garage, movie theater and even a hospital, just in case. (CREDIT: Kurt Strand Design)

The ship includes a fitness center, spa, ‘beach club’, swimming pool, supercar garage, movie theater and even a hospital, just in case. You have what is essentially a seagoing mansion.

At the fore deck, a helipad could allow guests to venture further afield.

If you needed any more methods of travel combined into one vessel, in the beach club, tender boats, off-road vehicles, jet skis and water toys are stored.

For more science news stories check out our New Innovations section at The Brighter Side of News.


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