Hurtigruten is to convert three of its existing passenger vessels into hybrid-powered expedition cruise ships that will operate year-round itineraries along Norway’s coast from 2021.
Finnmarken, Trollfjord and Midnatsol will all be equipped with upgraded low-emission engines, battery packs and other green technologies to “drastically cut” their emissions. In addition, they will have technology to enable them to connect to shore power facilities and operate emission-free when docked in ports. Finnmarken will be upgraded in 2020 while the other two vessels are scheduled to be converted in 2021.
“At Hurtigruten, the push for sustainable solutions and introduction of green technology is the core of everything we do,” said Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten. “We operate in some of the most spectacular areas of the world. This comes with a responsibility.”
Following what will be the three largest upgrade projects in Hurtigruten’s more than 125 years of history, each of the 530-guest ships will have refurbished cabins and suites, several new suites with ocean views, Hurtigruten’s signature Science Centre, an Expedition Launch area with tender boats, and a new wellness area with a gym, lounge and treatment rooms. All public areas will be redesigned and redecorated with natural Scandinavian materials such as granite, oak, birch and wool.
Dining concepts will also be refreshed with the main dining room being converted into Restaurant Aune and serving Scandinavian-style breakfast, lunch and dinner based on a Scandinavian identity. Guests will also be able to visit Restaurant Lindstrøm, which will offer dishes that have strong roots in traditional Norwegian cuisine, as well as an informal eatery named Fredheim after a 1920s hunting station in Svalbard. An outdoor grill venue will be added on the ships’ top decks.
“With these new expedition cruise vessels, you will be able to explore Norway like never before, with all the comforts, facilities and expertise you need for creating a perfect adventure,” said Skjeldam. “Combined with groundbreaking green technology, these ships will truly stand out.”
Once renovated, all three vessels will be rechristened with names that pay homage to renowned polar explorers. Trollfjord will be renamed Maud after Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s expedition vessel, which set sail in 1917 and counted the first Queen of modern-day Norway as her namesake. Finnmarken will become Otto Sverdrup in a nod to the notable Norwegian polar expert who was the first to ski across Greenland alongside fellow explorer Fridtjof Nansen and also captained Hurtigruten’s ships between his own expeditions. Meanwhile, Midnatsol will be rechristened as Eirik Raude in honour of famed Viking chief Eric the Red who is known for discovering and naming Greenland.
“For centuries, humans have moved boundaries and explored some of the most spectacular areas and waters of our planet,” said Skjeldam. “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 honour their legacy.”