MS Fram, Hurtigruten

‘We must not leave any permanent traces of our presence’

Case Story: MS Fram

MS Fram is a 12,700 GT cruise vessel owned and managed by Norway based Hurtigruten ASA, a company with a proactive approach to environmental protection.

Onboard MS Fram, Uson Marine waste handling systems save space and reduce disposal costs ashore. Dry waste is compacted to reduce its volume by up to 80%. “This is very important for us as storage space onboard is limited,” says Chief Engineer Frank Hermansen. Food waste is ground into fine particles and discharged into the ocean in compliance with MARPOL regulations.

Hurtigruten ASA’s Communication Manager Ragnar Norum emphasizes that, since MS Fram cruises in such beautiful, highly sensitive areas, it is even more important to have waste handling solutions that place no pressure on the environment. “The rule is that we must not leave any permanent traces of our presence.”

Waste management onboard

MS Fram has a clearly defined Waste Management Plan and records are kept in a garbage record book. This ensures and confirms that the ship’s waste handling procedures are in full compliance with both international MARPOL regulations and stricter regulations in force in the particularly sensitive waters in which the ship is cruising.

Why were Uson systems chosen for MS Fram? Chief Engineer Frank Hermansen was involved at the construction stage. “Uson Marine was one of three suppliers who made bids. But Uson was the only supplier who had everything we needed, which made it much simpler. Plus, we already had Uson equipment on other Hurtigruten vessels. They were present during installation and commissioning.”

Dry waste volume reduced by up to 80%
Hermansen reports that the Uson systems installed for dry waste and food and galley waste streams are performing well. In the garbage room, plastic bottles are sorted manually from metal cans and these fractions are compacted in a UMCC-3 Multi-Chamber Compactor which reduces their volume by up to 80%.

“This is very important for us,” says Hermansen. “Fram is not a large ship. We have only limited storage space onboard and on some parts of the voyage we do not put into a port for eight days.”

A Uson garbage chute system is installed on Deck 6 and used to transport cardboard down to the incinerator room. “This works well,” says Hermansen. “A really useful feature is an integrated high-pressure cleaning system that can be hoisted up and down in the chute.”

Food waste ground up

In the galley a Uson OWMS One Way Macerator System grinds the food waste to particles less than 25 mm in size and transports it by vacuum to a special holding tank. Hermansen relates that, on the advice of Uson Marine, an upgrade to the system has been scheduled for April 2012.

“A Uson Food Waste Shredder will be installed before the macerator that will give us an even bigger safety margin when it comes to larger pieces of food waste being put through the system.”

MS Fram is also equipped with a labour-saving Uson UCVC Central Vacuum Cleaning system, which contributes to a hygienic onboard environment. “We thought we would need two of these systems, but Uson said one was enough and we have not regretted that decision,” relates Hermansen.

Maintenance handled by crew

“The crew have no problems with the Uson systems. They handle maintenance themselves, following the instruction manuals. A small stock of spares is kept onboard.”

Hermansen reports that he and his colleagues have an ongoing relationship with Uson. “They come aboard regularly, check that everything is satisfactory and make recommendations where necessary.” Would Hermansen recommend Uson waste handling systems to a colleague? The answer comes without hesitation, it’s a clear “yes”!

Uson Marine’s scope of supply

  • UMCC-3 Multi Chamber Compactor (used for plastic bottle and metal cans)
  • Chute, with high-pressure cleaning system (used for cardboard)
  • OWMS One Way Macerator System (for food waste prior to discharge overboard)
  • Grease Separator (galley water to grey water tank)
    – UCVC Central Vacuum Cleaning System


MS Fram

Delivered by Fincantieri, Italy, in 2007, MS Fram is named after the original Fram, the ship used by explorers Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen. In the summer the vessel operates in the Arctic ocean and around Greenland and at other times of the year, it cruises in Antarctic waters.

  • Shipowner: Hurtigruten ASA
  • Type of vessel: Arctic and Antarctic explorer cruise
  • Flag: Norwegian
  • Delivered: April 2007
  • Shipyard: Fincantieri, Italy
  • Length: 114 m
  • Beam 20.2 m
  • No. of people onboard: 500 approx. (passengers and crew)
  • Classification: LR + 100 A1, Ice Class 1B
  • Area of operation: Arctic and Antarctic


Hurtigruten ASA

Hurtigruten ASA operates 11 vessels along the Norwegian coast. The company also operates MS Fram in cruise traffic in Antarctica. This ship also offers cruises in South and Central-Europe along the coasts of Greenland and Svalbard.

Environmental thinking
Hurtigruten works actively with qualified partners to reduce carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. The company is a member of Norway’s nitrogen oxide fund, and is pursuing a number of measures to reduce energy and fuel consumption. These include replacing propellers and maneuvering systems as well as energy measures related to lighting, which have been implemented to good effect.

In September 2009 Hurtigruten ASA converted to using only light fuel grades throughout its fleet. This has had a very positive effect on sulphur oxide emissions.