For Eco-Innovation in Polar Waters
A committed explorer, nature lover and passionate photographer, Daniel Skjeldam became the youngest leader of a listed Norwegian company when he took over as Hurtigruten’s CEO in 2012. In a short time, he turned the expedition and coastal voyage company around from an unprofitable enterprise to one that’s now thriving, expanding and, particularly this year, setting new sustainability standards.
Case in point? This fall, Hurtigruten’s new expeditionary Roald Amundsen just launched as the world’s first hybrid electric-powered cruise ship. Innovative sustainable technology reduces fuel consumption and CO2-emissions by 20 percent. The new ship will be christened in Antarctica. A sister vessel, Fridtjof Nansen will debut in 2020, with a third ship to follow.
Under his leadership, Hurtigruten is also retrofitting existing ships with eco-friendly upgrades. That’s important as Hurtigruten’s 14 ships sail to such eco-sensitive destinations as Antarctica, Greenland, Arctic Canada, Iceland, Alaska, Svalbard and many other areas of Norway and the Northwest Passage.
Skjeldam was recently appointed to the Norwegian government’s Council for Ocean and Arctic. With a background in both finance and the travel industry, he also was part of the start-up team for Norwegian (the airline) in 2002 and served as chief commercial officer prior to moving to Hurtigruten. But Skjeldam is most home on water, an avid sailor and has even kayaked around the Svalbard Islands, a fitting passion for a CEO who leads a line sailing to remote, eco-sensitive areas across the globe.