World’s First Hybrid Expedition Ship to be Christened in Antarctica
MS Roald Amundsen continues to make history with the first-ever naming ceremony in Antarctica.
SEATTLE, WA - July 12, 2019 – Hurtigruten, the world leader in exploration travel, will be christening the world’s first hybrid electric–powered expedition cruise ship this fall in Antarctica.
MS Roald Amundsen was named after polar hero Roald Amundsen who led the first expedition to cross the Northwest Passage, the first expedition to the South Pole, and the first expedition proven to have reached the North Pole. The ship’s naming ceremony is set to honor his legacy with a ritual invented by Amundsen.
“We can think of no better place to name the truly unique MS Roald Amundsen than the waters of Antarctica, where no ship has ever been christened before,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.
When christening his famed expedition ship Maud in 1917, Roald Amundsen switched from using the traditional bottle of champagne to a chunk of ice. Before crushing the ice against her bow, he stated:
“It is not my intention to dishonor the glorious grape, but already now you shall get the taste of your real environment. For the ice you have been built, and in the ice, you shall stay most of your life, and in the ice, you shall solve your tasks.”
Hurtigruten, and the yet to be disclosed godmother, will use the same ritual when christening MS Roald Amundsen.
“To honor Roald Amundsen and his explorer heritage, we will revive his ritual. With over 125 years of polar experience, Hurtigruten will use the first-ever ship naming ceremony in Antarctica to pay our respects to the oceans, environment, and past and present explorers,” Skjeldam says.
MS Roald Amundsen made maritime history by being the first cruise ship in the world to sail purely on battery power, as she left Kleven Yard for her maiden voyage off the coast of Norway in late June. (Visit Hurtigruten’s Digital Showroom for a deeper look at the highlights and other features of the ship.)
Specially designed for exploring some of the most spectacular waters of the planet, MS Roald Amundsen features groundbreaking green technology. The hybrid electric–powered expedition cruise ship is using battery packs to support her low-emission engines and will reduce CO2 emissions with more than 20% compared to other cruise ships of the same size.
“This opens a new chapter in maritime history. MS Roald Amundsen is the first cruise ship equipped with batteries, something deemed impossible just a few years back. With the introduction of MS Roald Amundsen, Hurtigruten sets a new standard not only for cruising, but for the entire shipping industry to follow,” said Skjeldam.
The stunning scenery will be reflected in a modern Scandinavian design, with features including a high-tech Science Center, observation decks, an infinity pool, panoramic sauna, gym and Wellness Center, three restaurants, bars, Explorer Lounge, aft-facing suites with private outdoor hot tubs, and the laidback atmosphere that creates the special Hurtigruten onboard feel.
MS Roald Amundsen’s maiden season includes expedition cruises along the Norwegian coast and up to Svalbard and Greenland, before becoming the first hybrid electric–powered expedition ship to attempt a traverse of the legendary Northwest Passage, following in the wake of the namesake explorer Roald Amundsen’s famed journey.
In addition to eco-friendly expedition cruises along the west coast of North and South America—with destinations larger cruise ships cannot reach—MS Roald Amundsen will head to the extreme south for a full 2019/2020 Antarctic season.
MS Roald Amundsen Facts:
Large battery packs and groundbreaking green technology
Built: Kleven Yards, Norway, 2019
Gross tonnage: 20,889
Length: 459 ft
Breadth: 8 ft
Draft: 17 ft
Cruising speed: 15 knots
Ice class: PC-6
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.