HX ship returning to Hurtigruten Norway operation

Hurtigruten Group's MS Maud to rebrand back to MS Midnatsol

Image credit: Tommy Simonsen

Hurtigruten Group has confirmed the repositioning of HX’s (Hurtigruten Expeditions) MS Maud to sister company Hurtigruten Norway, returning to the Norwegian coastal operation.

The ship will be temporarily used on the route between Bergen and Kirkenes from November and in 2025. At the same time, it will change its name back to the tradition-rich Midnatsol from Maud. This avoids gaps in the sailing schedule while Hurtigruten continues its environmental upgrade programme.

The operation adjustment was flagged by Damian Perry, Managing Director, Hurtigruten Asia Pacific when quizzed by LATTE recently at the Virtuoso AU/NZ Forum in Bangkok.

Maud‘s reassignment is a strategic placement of the ship,” Perry said. “Unfortunately with a repositioning it inconveniences people, which occurred in this instance. We’re offering impacted guests the opportunity to change to a similar itinerary on [MS Roald] Amundsen, [MS Fridtjof] Nansen or [MS] Fram. There is a benefit in that guests are moving from the traditional ship in Maud to HX’s very latest ships.”

MS Midnatsol | Credit: Maximlian Schwarz/Hurtigruten

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“This is a strategic move. Like any other company in the last 12 months, you have to make strategic placements of your fleet and because it is still fundamental one family of companies, we had to move Maud across because we are still doing further development of the coastal fleet.

“There’s still some refurbishments and hybridisation happening on the fleet, so there were a chain of changes, and because of that we decided the best thing for the business and the customers, and to have the least interruption as possible, was to move Maud across to the coast.”

Perry explained Maud has vast history on the coast having been built in that part of the world, “so its DNA is on the coast.”

MS Midnatsol is specially built for Hurtigruten’s original route, and can take goods, local passengers, cars and tourists between all 34 ports between Bergen and Kirkenes.

Perry said clients in the Asia Pacific region impacted by the change were well catered for.

“We looked after the APAC market as a priority because this region was selling Maud well. We had first dibs globally on where clients were able to rebook, and first options of Fram and Amundsen for Antarctica. From that aspect, our clients were being well looked after.”

“We looked after the APAC market as a priority because this region was selling Maud well. We had first dibs globally on where clients were able to rebook, and first options of Fram and Amundsen for Antarctica. From that aspect, our clients were being well looked after.”

Clients unable to find an alternative option were offered a 125% cruise credit.

MS Maud | Credit: Cruise Isle of Man/Facebook

The ship will be re-flagged this autumn from the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS) to the Norwegian Ordinary Ship Register (NOR) and at the same time change its name back to MS Midnatsol.

The ship will sail on a fixed route between Bergen and Kirkenes from 26 November 2024 to 5 December 2025.

MS Midnatsol will take the place of MS Vesterålen in the coastal route. MS Vesterålen will then enter the days where MS Nordlys was originally set up.

MS Nordlys will be at the shipyard for several months to become a full-fledged hybrid ship with brand-new engines, large battery packs, hull optimisations and a number of other upgrades.

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