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Norway, with it's many fjords and ferries has a long tradition for ferry foods. Along the (mid) western coast taking a ferry without eating a svele[1] (looks similar to an american pancake) is pretty much unthinkable :) This type of food is usually cooked and served fresh on the ferries.

I live near the Ampere ferry pictured in the article. And one interesting side-effect of electrification is that they don't have enough power to spare for a full kitchen (with griddles, etc)[2].

Now they have to sell ready-made sveler instead of cooking them on the spot and serving them fresh[3]. Electric ferries are essentially killing "norwegian ferry food culture" to much despair for svele loving passengers :P

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svele

[2]: https://www.nrk.no/sognogfjordane/droppar-kiosken-pa-batteri... (article is in nynorsk ("new-norwegian") and google translate is basically useless)

[3]: https://www.nrk.no/sognogfjordane/no-er-den-forste-el-ferja-...




That's surprising! A griddle does take a fair bit of power, but aren't these griddles usually heated with natural gas or propane?

I know that some use electric heat - a quick search suggests up to 10 kW for a decent-sized commercial unit - but it seems more likely that they opted to increase the efficiency of the ferry and make it cheaper by removing the kitchen than that it was an unsolvable conundrum.


Indeed, defiantly solvable! I'm guessing they're playing it safe and reducing risk where they can for the first generations of electric ferries. And it's probably much cheaper for the company to sell food from a vending machine than having a full kitchen onboard, so they might be using lack of power as an excuse.

However, there really isn't that much tradition for gas powered cooking in Norway (other than "BBQ"), almost everything is electric and power is really cheap.

Many of our other newer generation ferries are LNG powered, which probably comes with tons of strict rules for open flames on board. Might just be they've inherited some safety regulations for the electric ones as well.


Even for BBQ charcoal is the traditional way, with propane grills only becoming a thing in the last decade or so.

And then mostly because of a combined effort between stores to try to sell the "American" BBQ experience.

Honestly hearing the "extreme" right fretting over the nation clandestinely going Muslim i point to things like the above and Halloween themed stores each September as an indication that we are already going American.

Damn it, for the last year or so there have been a "non-permanent" presence of US Marines on Norwegian soil, something that was never the case for the whole of the cold war.

I am honestly not sure what is going on with the nation any more...


Propane is popular because it's convenient, but it's hardly "the 'American' BBQ experience", King of the Hill aside.

For the troops in Norway, my guess is that NATO is trying to make sure that Russia has to watch it's entire western border, and the hope is that this will help spread their resources too thin to do anything like they've been doing in eastern Ukraine. But Erna doesn't seem to be interested in explaining why she invited them in.


American culture is kinda like that; I don't think its influence is limited to Norway.


Whenever I think of Norway I think "vikings" (honestly, whenever I see pictures of Norwegians, men or women, that don't look like the stereotypical hefty viking I have to do a double take ;-) The vikings did a lot of helping other Europeans regions go Scandinavian, whether they wanted it or not (My family is from the Manchester region of England, but DNA tests show that something like 60% of my DNA is Scandinavian in origin - huh, I wonder how that happened). Maybe it's just Karma!


The specific ferry detailed in [1] has two 450kW motors, so any lack of 10kW cookers is not because it was difficult.

[1] https://www.siemens.com/innovation/en/home/pictures-of-the-f...


Propane/LPG is problematic in boats - it's heavier than air so it sinks down into the hull and pretty much stays there unless you actively ventilate it. It's not an insurmountable problem - petrol/gasoline fumes have the same "builds up to explosive concentrations in the bilge" problem too, and lots of boats use that as fuel (at least down in recreational sizes, not so much in ferry sized vessels I don't think) - but I wonder if the combination of propane buildup in the bilge combined with the possibility of sparks from very high power electric motors and controllers is a showstopper in these cases?


There is at least one LPG fueled ferry travelling the fjords of Norway.


CNG (compressed natural gas) doesn't have that problem.


Yeah - you trade it for the 250bar/3600psi storage pressure problem (compared to 8bar/120psi for LPG). It's also about 1/3rd of the energy density of LPG, so you need to carry a lot more of it.


You wouldn't need to carry all that much for cooking. The storage pressure is a solved problem in cars, so it shouldn't be difficult to manage on board a ship.


Most of those boats pictured could make that much power purely by mounting solar panels on deck.


At 60-70 degrees latitude? Maybe for a week in June.

Even if such a thing were feasible on buildings, the ferries navigate so the cells cannot be simply tilted south.


Well no, not inside the arctic circle, not as much for most of the year.


Also, the steep mountain sides occlude the sun for large parts of the day - especially during winter[1].

[1]: http://www.tinderangel.no/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/IMG_018...


> Electric ferries are essentially killing "norwegian ferry food culture" to much despair for svele loving passengers :P

I think this is the classic lets blame something else other than we're being cheap and lazy.

Kinda like how BART doesn't provide bathrooms anymore because '911'


Electric ferries are essentially killing "norwegian ferry food culture" to much despair for svele loving passengers :P

Geez. Just use propane! Here are some American consultants: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_the_Hill


Somewhat, though even before the introduction of electric ferries the new models replacing the older ones have had an emphasis on vehicle units over passenger comforts.

Where as an older ferry near me used to offer a panorama view of the fjord during crossing, and ample space non-vehicle passengers, the new one barely have room for two people to meet while going to and from the toilets, never mind ordering some food and sitting down to enjoy it.


How long is the average ferry ride? And might you go on multiple ferry rides on a single trip?


Ranging from 10 minutes to 3.5 hours (from lofoten to bodø, longest I've taken, but there might be other longer routes).

You often end up going on multiple ferries on a trip, and timing ferries is an art ;)

If you want to travel between Bergen and Stavanger (A regular route for many people between two major cities on the south-west coast - along European Route E39 - total 5h travel time) you'll hit two ferries [2] - Halhjem->Sanvikvåg (40 min) and Arsvågen->Mortavika (22 min). In the past you'd hit 3 ferries, but one was replaced by one of the world's deepest and longest subsea tunnels[3].

A popular scenic route along Helgelandskysten has 6 ferries[4].

Amount of ferries required for a trip has been slowly dropping as we try to tunnel and bridge the most trafficked routes (ex: one of the world's longest suspension bridges - the Hardanger Bridge[5]). However, some of our fjords are really wide and over 1000 meters deep, I guess ferries are here to stay as building infrastructure is really hard in this country :)

[1]: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Bergen/Stavanger/@59.6316846...

[2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_route_E39#The_E39_Fer...

[3]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bømlafjord_Tunnel

[4]: https://www.nasjonaleturistveger.no/en/routes/helgelandskyst...

[5]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardanger_Bridge


Heresy! How dare they. I will never take a ferry unless I can get fresh vaffler and coffee onboard.


Oh no. As long as the coffe is warm, there's still hope.




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