Hurtigruten has confirmed it will convert three of its existing ships to premium, hybrid-powered expedition vessels. Utilising the same technology that is fuelling the Norwegian cruise company’s newest ‘green ship’, MS Roald Amundsen, Hurtigruten plans to install battery packs to MS Trollfjord, MS Finnmarken and MS Midnatsol, relaunching them all by 2021 and operating year-long yet-to-be-revealed itineraries along the Norwegian coastline.
MS Trollfjord, MS Finnmarken and MS Midnatsol will be renamed as MS Maud, MS Otto Sverdrup and MS Eirik Raude as part of the project.
MS Finnmarken (future MS Otto Sverdrup) will be fitted with the battery packs first in 2020. Those packs support the ships’ engines and drastically cut emissions. The three expedition vessels will also be equipped for shore power, to cut emissions to zero when docked in ports with shore power facilities.
In addition, the three ships will get substantially upgraded low-emission engines, complying with all known and upcoming regulations (Tier3).
“At Hurtigruten, the push for sustainable solutions and introduction of green technology is the core of everything we do. We operate in some of the most spectacular areas of the world. This comes with a responsibility,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
Through the three single largest upgrade projects in Hurtigruten’s more than 125 years of history, the ships will be transformed into premium expedition cruise ships, carrying a maximum of 530 guests.
Upgrades will introduce several new features and venues on the ships. Highlights include:
- Using natural Scandinavian materials such as granite, oak, birch and wool, all public areas on MS Maud, MS Otto Sverdrup and MS Eirik Raude will be redesigned to create a relaxed and stylish look and feel, and add to the premium on-board experience.
- A specially designed Expedition Launch – the tender pit area where guests embark on their on their excursions and off-ship adventures – will be added to all ships, complete with tender boats and other expedition equipment.
- All cabins and suites will be completely refurbished, and new suites with spectacular views added to all three ships.
- Hurtigruten’s Science Center will be added to the three ships. Packed with state-of-the-art technology and high-tech gadgets such as touch screens, science equipment and other interactive features, the edutainment area will also be the on-board HQ for the ship’s Expedition Team.
- A brand new wellness area, complete with gym, lounge and treatment rooms, will be built. The pool area (MS Otto Sverdrup) and outdoor hot tub areas (MS Maud and MS Eirik Raude) will be fully upgraded.
Three brand new restaurants will be added, matching Hurtigruten’s new restaurant concepts for the growing fleet of expedition cruise ships:
The main restaurants will be transformed to Restaurant Aune, Hurtigruten’s new expedition cruise main restaurant concept. Aune will be social and informal with the use of natural elements in design and interiors, and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner based on a Scandinavian identity.
Restaurant Lindstrøm (pictured above), a specialty restaurant named after the favourite chef of the Norwegian polar heroes, will be added. Lindstrøm 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 (pictured above), named after a legendary 1920s hunting station in Svalbard that sheltered adventurers from around the world. In addition, a new outdoor grill venue will be added outdoor on the top decks.
The ship’s extensive art collections will be preserved.
For more information on Hurtigruten, see hurtigruten.com.au/