Rolls-Royce has entered into a contract worth about £25m (€18.90m, $22.57m) with Kleven, a Norway ship builder, to design and provide ship equipment to two new polar cruise vessels which are being built by Kleven for Hurtigruten, one of the world's leading expedition voyage operators.
According to a Rolls-Royce press release, the contract would include an option to provide its services for two more vessels. The British aero-engine manufacturer will provide an innovative design with a wave piercing bow, besides supplying both technology and equipment.
These would include consoles, levers and software interfaces, which would all be set up in way that they share the same look and feel. This is to facilitate a "more comfortable, clutter-free and ultimately more safe and efficient working environment for the captain and his team on the bridge", the company explained. Rolls-Royce will also deliver its Unified Bridge, the human-machine interface of ship systems, which according to its website, will allow for a holistic user experience.
Helge Gjerde, director of offshore and merchant solutions at Rolls-Royce, said: "Hurtigruten and Kleven have agreed to build state-of the art passenger vessels, and Rolls-Royce will provide some of the most innovative ship technology on the market today. I'm confident that these new polar cruise vessels will bring the proud heritage of the Hurtigruten into a similarly proud future."
Daniel Skjeldam, CEO at Hurtigruten, said: "To me, this contract is proof of the combined innovation powers of Norway's maritime industry and the country's growing tourism industry. Together we are providing growth along the long and beautiful Norwegian coastline."
The development comes at a time when the British company is facing financial challenges. While it has issued five profit warnings in the last two years, it had in February cut the dividend payouts to shareholders, a first in 25 years. It also follows the turnaround plan of chief executive Warren East, who took over the lead role at Rolls-Royce in July 2015. His plans include cutting costs by up to £200m a year, a part of which would be achieved through job redundancies.