Hurtigruten Announces Major Changes Afloat for 2017 Explorer Voyages

Hurtigruten’s already strong Explorer Program is heading towards a major expansion in 2017. Next year will see a tripling of berths to Antarctica, a dedicated ship for more extreme experiences, the major refurbishment of four of its Norwegian Coastal Voyage ships, and the launch of a new ship – MS Spitsbergen.

Topping that in 2017 will be the expansion of the company’s highly-regarded Explorer Program: four ships (up from two this year) will sail expedition voyages; Hurtigruten’s Arctic program will stretch to the Newfoundland and Labrador provinces of Canada, adding to the current roster of Spitsbergen, Iceland and Greenland; guests will be able to explore Greenland’s Kangertittivaq or Scoresby (the longest fjord in the world); and an Amazon River voyage starting deep inside the Brazilian rainforest will afford amazing sights and sounds. Not to mention visits to Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Ecuador.

“We want to offer our guests unique and meaningful experiences regardless of the water temperature,” says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. “Hurtigruten attracts guests who want to be involved, not be passive spectators. They want active excursions, to interact with local people, to learn about the cultures, geography, geology, climates and history of the destinations they are visiting, and they want to sail with a company dedicated to sustainable travel and the environment.”


Hurtigruten explorer voyages to the Newfoundland and Labrador provinces in Canada will combine active adventures with opportunities for learning. Popular science lectures on topics relevant to the destinations will be given by experts in areas such as history, zoology, botany, and environmental science. Experienced expedition teams will accompany guests on excursions to isolated places only accessible by ships or zodiac boats. Amongst the many exceptional landings guests will get to visit while aboard the MS Spitsbergen is L'Anse aux Meadows – a small fishing village on the UNESCO World Heritage List where Norwegians Anne Stine and Helge Ingstad and their daughter Benedicte made discovery of a Viking settlement in 1960. Benedicte Ingstad (72) is now a researcher and professor of medical anthropology and will participate as a guide on selected voyages.


For more than 120 years, Hurtigruten has taken guests close to nature along the Norwegian coast, in the Arctic, and eventually in Antarctica. Now Hurtigruten is offering to let people connect with their inner explorer in tropical waters. Starting deep inside the Brazilian rainforest, the MS Fram sails down the immense river, where guests can experience and learn more about the region’s unique nature and wildlife, journey by canoes, and enjoy hikes onshore. There will be landings at places like Parintins and Santarém. The biodiversity of the wilderness and flora allows for opportunities to safely encounter animals such as jaguars, tapirs, howler monkeys, parrots, piranhas and caimans. Excursions with local partners are accompanied by Hurtigruten’s experienced expedition teams.

South America

Hurtigruten will also take guests on sailings along both the Atlantic and the Pacific coast of South America. Some of the sailings include South Atlantic islands and archipelagos, such as the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, where guests will meet locals and be taken close to penguins, birds, whales, seals and other wildlife. The “Land of the Inca” special sailing goes from Valparaíso in Chile north along the coast of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama, before ending in Puerto Limón in Costa Rica. The “Penguins, Patagonia and Poetry” special sailing begins in Ushuaia, Argentina and passes Cape Horn and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula before continuing via the Chilean fjords and further to the final destination of Valparaíso, Chile.

It is also possible to take part in the cross-sailings back and forth across the Atlantic. The stretch from Bergen to Lisbon includes landings in Amsterdam, Guernsey and La Coruña. The stretch from Lisbon to Brazil has landings in ports such as Cadiz, Casablanca and Cape Verde.

Extreme Experiences

On the east coast of Greenland, Hurtigruten will let guests explore Kangertittivaq or Scoresby, a fjord which extends 350 kilometers into the vast island. Trips to this special fjord are combined with visits to Iceland, Jan Mayen and Beerenberg in Svalbard (site of the world’s northernmost volcano), and Lofoten. Guests have close-up experiences of glaciers calving huge icebergs and volcanoes smoldering at the same time as visiting the domains of whales, dolphins, seabirds, polar bears and musk oxen. There will also be Arctic expedition sailings to the remote town of Thule on the northwestern tip of Greenland.

Hurtigruten is also strongly reinforcing its commitment in Antarctica. In 2016, the line is tripling its berths as the MS Midnatsol joins the MS Fram in the southern hemisphere. The Chilean fjords, Cape Horn, Magellan Strait, Punta Arenas and the White Continent are some of the highlights of these sailings. Guests can join in hikes on thousand-year-old glacial ice, walks among penguins, kayak between seals, snorkel in icy water and camp overnight.

The explorer cruise line has recently made numerous steps to strengthen its position as world leader in offering sustainable tourism expeditions at sea. “Many of the areas Hurtigruten sails to are vulnerable. It is important to showcase nature in the gentlest manner possible and to educate and encourage our guests to become ambassadors, who will then help to preserve it,” says CEO Skjeldam.

The newly established Hurtigruten Foundation will contribute greatly to preserving the fragile environment and the unique culture of the areas Hurtigruten visits. The first ambassador of the foundation is pioneer swimmer and ocean advocate Lewis Pugh – the UN’s appointed “Patron of the Oceans”.