The pioneer explorer company from the country of Amundsen and Nansen has the lead in the fast growing global adventure tourism market at sea. For the first time in ten years, the company has purchased a new explorer ship. The 120-year-old has also tripled its capacity in Antarctic waters.
- We are a first mover company and we are now reinventing the Hurtigruten experience. By combining tradition, innovation and sustainability, we aim to ensure the position as world leader in nature-based explorer travels in polar waters, says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
The first step of the refurbishment program includes total renewal of four Norwegian coastal ships. Out goes the cruise interior and furnishings typical of the nineties. In comes a modern Scandinavian interior – with inspiration drawn from the spectacular nature outside the windows and under the keels. In addition, also the new ship MS Spitsbergen is to be totally renewed inside and furthermore to undergo a major conversion for sailing under polar conditions.
The Norwegian shipyard Fosen Yard Yard has won the contract in an international tender.
“New Arctic Interior”
The first ships to be renewed are MS Kong Harald, MS Polarlys, MS Nordkapp and MS Nordnorge, all of which will undergo a total makeover during 2016. MS Spitsbergen will be completed in the spring.
- Adventure travellers of today are looking for the unique and authentic. By renewing the fleet, we are able to offer a world-class onboard environment that complement what nature put forward outside, says Skjeldam.
MS Polarlys was given new interior end of February.
- The interior reflects the breathtaking coastal landscapes we sail past. We have made it stylish and yet unpretentious. The colors are earthy and from the coast and the sea. Many of the materials are natural, such as wood, slate and leather. Forms originate from nature, and guests will be welcomed by shapes that bear resemblance to for instance fire, waves and seaweed, says Skjeldam.
The new look has been named New Arctic Interior. Have a look at the video from the newly refurbished MS Polarlys below:
- We have merged the look of the age of modern discovery with a contemporary feel. We invite our guest to connect with their inner explorers, says Skjeldam.
All common areas of the ships are or will be amended. The receptions, cafes and bistro areas, and the aft deck, are renovated. Also the restaurants and the food served are transformed. With over 100 000 annual foreign guests, Hurtigruten provides the best Norwegian food based on coastal receipts in cooperation with local food suppliers. The tastes are natural with a modern touch.
- Our guests ask for mountains, fjords and the Northern Lights or the Midnight Sun. But they are also on the look for new experiences and knowledge – and we want to offer them food with character made from local ingredients of exceptional quality as an important part of their travel adventure, says Skjeldam.
A range of fresh pastries from own bakeries will be offered. The bar is moved to the panoramic launch. Outside there will be barbecue stands.
- We are also very much looking forward to getting fitness rooms with the world's best views, says Skjeldam.
Hurtigruten is the legendary original Norwegian coastal route dating back to 1893. From 2016, four vessels offer explorer sailings in Arctic areas around Spitsbergen, Iceland and Greenland, and in Antarctic waters. Norwegian coastal voyages are offered from eleven ships.