SEATTLE, WA - August 20, 2019 – Hurtigruten, the world leader in exploration travel, will begin refurbishing three of their cruise ships for advanced upgrades over the next few years. Equipped with battery packs and other green technology, each ship will operate year-round expedition cruises along the Norwegian coast from 2021 on yet-to-be-disclosed itineraries.
This means Hurtigruten, which recently introduced the world’s first hybrid electric–powered expedition cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen, will soon add another three hybrid powered ships to what is already considered the greenest fleet of cruise ships in the world.
“With these new expedition cruise vessels, guests will be able to explore Norway like never before, with all the comforts, facilities, and expertise one needs for creating a perfect adventure. Combined with groundbreaking green technology, these ships will truly stand out,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
As they are transformed into fully-fledged premium expedition cruise ships, the current MS Trollfjord, MS Finnmarken, and MS Midnatsol, will be renamed MS Maud, MS Otto Sverdrup, and MS Eirik Raude, respectively.
Battery Packs & Green Tech
MS Otto Sverdrup will have battery packs installed during a 2020 drydock, with a letter of intent for the same battery installation on MS Maud and MS Eirik Raude in 2021. The battery packs will support the ship engines, and drastically cut emissions.
The three ships will be equipped for shore power, in order to cut emissions to zero when docked in ports with shore power facilities. In addition, each ship will receive substantially upgraded low-emission engines, complying with all known and upcoming regulations (Tier3).
“At Hurtigruten, the push for sustainable solutions and the introduction of green technology is at the core of everything we do. We operate in some of the most spectacular areas of the world, and this comes with a great responsibility,” added Skjeldam.
Through the three single largest upgrade projects in Hurtigruten’s more than 125 years of history, the vessels will be transformed into premium expedition cruise ships, carrying a maximum of 530 guests each.
The keel-to-mast upgrades will introduce several new features and venues on each of the ships; some of the highlights include:
- Using natural Scandinavian materials such as granite, oak, birch, and wool, all public areas will be redesigned to create a relaxed and stylish look and feel and add to the premium onboard experience.
- A specially designed Expedition Launch—the tender pit area where guests embark on their excursions and adventures ashore—will be added to all ships, complete with tender boats and other expedition equipment.
- All cabins and suites will be completely refurbished, including several new suites with spectacular views.
- Hurtigruten’s signature Science Centerwill be added to each ship. Packed with state-of-the-art technology and high-tech gadgets such as touch screens, science equipment, and other interactive features, this edutainment area will also serve as the onboard headquarters for the ship’s Expedition Team.
- A new wellness-area, complete with gym, lounge, and treatment rooms, will be built. The pool area (on MS Otto Sverdrup) and outdoor hot tub areas (on MS Maud and MS Eirik Raude) will be fully upgraded.
- Three brand-new restaurants will be added, matching Hurtigruten’s restaurant concepts for its growing fleet of expedition cruise ships:
- The main restaurants will be transformed to Aune; social and informal with the use of natural elements in design and interiors, Aune will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner based on Scandinavian identity.
- Restaurant Lindstrøm, a specialty restaurant named after a favorite chef of Norwegian polar heroes, will be an upper premium fine dining restaurant with strong roots in traditional Norwegian cooking, that are contrasted with modern cuisine.
- The informal eatery Fredheim, named after a legendary 1920s hunting station in Svalbard that sheltered adventurers from around the world, will also be part of the refurbishment. In addition, a new outdoor grill venue will be added outdoor on the top decks.
Honoring Explorer Heritage
MS Maud, the current MS Trollfjord, is named after one of the most famous polar vessels of all time, Roald Amundsen’s ’Maud’ from 1917. The original ’Maud’ got her name from the first Queen of modern-day Norway, who also had her namesake in Hurtigruten’s 1925 flagship ‘DS Dronning Maud.’
MS Otto Sverdrup, the current MS Finnmarken, is named after one of Norway’s most notable polar heroes. Alongside Fridtjof Nansen, he was the first to ski across Greenland, a key contributor to several expeditions and captain on the legendary polar ship ’Fram.’ Sverdrup also has a close connection to Hurtigruten: Between the expeditions he was a captain on board Hurtigruten ships.
MS Eirik Raude, the current MS Midnatsol, is named after one of the most famous Viking chiefs in history. Eirik Raude—also known as Eric the Red—got his name from his huge red beard, and is not only known for discovering Greenland, but also for giving the island its name.
“For centuries, humans have moved boundaries and explored some of the most spectacular areas and waters of our planet. As the world’s largest expedition cruise company, we are closely connected to the great explorers and polar heroes. With names inspired by their incredible achievements, we honor their legacy,” said Skjeldam.
Editor’s note: Photos are available at http://bitly.com/expeditionsnorway2021
Hurtigruten is the world leader in exploration travel. As the largest cruise operator in polar waters, and with 125 years of know-how, we offer immersive experiences to some of the world’s most pristine and remote destinations, including Antarctica, Alaska, Arctic Canada and the Northwest Passage, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Svalbard, and more. Hurtigruten’s fleet consists of 14 expedition ships, custom built for adventure travel. In addition, three new groundbreaking ships will be delivered; MS Roald Amundsen in 2019, MS Fridtjof Nansen in 2020, and a third new build in 2021. These will be the most advanced and environmentally friendly expedition vessels at sea, as well as the world’s first hybrid electric-powered cruise ships. Hurtigruten is an industry leader in sustainability, with a deep commitment to improving the marine environments we call home.
For more information, visit www.hurtigruten.com