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History timeline


The Company is founded by Mr. Knud E. Hansen, Naval Architect, as one of the first engineering companies in the world to specialise in ship design.

An office was opened in Bredgade 75 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and remained our headquaters until 1998.

The ConRo Stabilising System was developed and over the following five years installed on about 25 ferries and cruise ships.

1967 - 1974

The split stern/twin skeg design was developed for RoRo and RoPax vessels. This hull form was devised using scale-model test tanks in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Gothenburg, Sweden.

A number of innovations were introduced for major conversions of RoRo and RoPax vessels including using additional car-trailer decks with sponsons. Horseshoe Sponsons and Duck Tails were developed for improved stability and speed.

1975 - 1983

Conversion of the SS France to the SS Norway. The huge project to convert the old Atlantic liner SS France to a modern cruise ship was planned, designed and supervised by our team of engineers, naval architects and interior designers from KNUD E. HANSEN. The rejuvenated vessel was in service as a cruise ship from 1980 to 2008.

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Phoenix World City was a design for a huge, futuristic cruise ship. At the beginning this concept was based on taking a redundant 300,000 dwt tanker (many vessels of this type were laid up in the Norwegian fjords at this time) and building accommodation on the upper deck. Later this idea was changed to an enormous, purpose-built cruise ship.

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1984 -1994

Development of the Suction Bulbous Bow. This development of a new type of bulbous bow was carried out in cooperation with the Vienna Model Basin testing facility. This type of bulbous bow has since been used on most cruise liners, RoRo and RoPax vessels built around the world.

Development of a design for the world’s largest train ferry, the M/V Skåne. The vessel has a 105 m double tracked train lift to accommodate rail carriages on two decks.

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1995 - 1998

Development of ‘windships’. This project was carried out in cooperation with the Department of Energy in Denmark. Many ship owners have since shown interest in the concept, but it has yet to be realised.

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Main office moved to Islands Brygge 41 at Copenhagen Harbour.

1999 - 2001

ShipPax Award for Outstanding Ferry Concept of
2001: Moby Wonder.

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Development of the ‘Resolution’, the first purpose-built, self-elevating TIV vessel (Turbine Installation Vessel), for Mayflower Energy Ltd of the UK. Many more ships of this type have been built since, and construction continues around the world as demand for offshore wind farms grows.

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Development of a design for a 12500 TEU container-vessel. This project was designated a Development Project by Bureau Veritas, to be used as a rules benchmarks by future designs.

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2002 - 2005

Opening of office in London, UK.

ShipPax Award for outstanding ferry exterior of 2005: M/V Smyril. "In an age of boxy-looking ferries created in the quest for ever greater efficiency and revenue earning potential, it comes as blessed relief to see the warm beauty of a handsome and functional vessel with smooth hull lines built to serve in an area known for harsh climate."

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2006 - 2008

The book: “Ship Design Through Seven Decades” written by Dr. Bruce Peter is finalised. The book focuses mainly on our characteristic ferry designs through the nineteen sixties and early seventies.

Opening of offices in Odense, Denmark and Piraeus, Greece.


Development of a new type of vessel for the recovery of oil spills - the SWORC – Shallow Water Oil Recovery Craft.

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Our main office in Copenhagen moves to new premises at Lundegaarden in Elsinore, Denmark.


Design of the world’s largest TIV vessels for wind turbine installation in deep water for Swire Blue Ocean. The two vessels are the biggest of this type afloat and are able to work in waters up to 60 m deep.

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Opening of offices in: Perth, Australia, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, and Thorshavn, the Faroe Islands.

2011 - 2012

300 m RoCon vessel designed for Atlantic Container Line. Five vessels were ordered from Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in China. These are the biggest of this type to be built to date.

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Concept and Contract Design as well as further assistance including plan approval for Bahri Abha; a 26.000 dwt RoCon vessel for Bahri. Six vessels have been built.

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The book: “75 years of ship design” by Dr. Bruce Peter.

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2013 - 2014

Winner of the ShipPax Award 2014. The award was
presented in recognition of "Internal layout of a deepsea
ro-ro, to economically transport a wide variety of
cargoes" of the Saudi-owned deep-sea RoRo vessel,
Bahri Abha.

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2015 - 2018

Winner of the ShipPax Award 2015 for the ConRo
vessel ATLANTIC STAR "for her revolutionary design,
which brings huge benefi ts in terms of capacity,
economy and an environmental footprint".

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Winner of the ShipPax Award 2016. Cruise Vessel SPITSBERGEN "The successful conversion of an
unfinished ferry into a fully-fledged expedition cruise ship, complete with a strengthened hull. Essentially
a new ship, SPITSBERGEN also features a crisp and stylish interior".

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Virtual reality for mega projects. ShipSpace is a
groundbreaking Virtual Reality (VR) design system that allows engineers, designers and owners to walk on board their new vessels from early design all the way through construction.

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The 80th anniversary of the founding of the now world-famous Danish naval architecture consultancy, KNUD E. HANSEN.

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MARINE HVAC DESIGN – new KNUD E. HANSEN business unit dedicated 100% to HVAC.

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KNUD E. HANSEN Expands its Reach in the Canadian Market

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