Hurtigruten officially named the newest ship in its expedition fleet, MS Roald Amundsen, during a ceremony in Chiriguano Bay on Brabant Island in Antarctica this week.
The ship was welcomed into the fleet by godmother Karin Strand, a member of Hurtigruten’s expedition team and one of the most experienced polar explorers in the world, having completed more than 140 expeditions to Antarctica.
“I am truly honored to share in such a historical moment as this, with like-minded explorers and colleagues, all dedicated to navigating our oceans in a more sustainable way,” Strand said.
Hurtigruten and Strand marked the occasion with a ritual that came directly from Roald Amundsen — a 20th-century polar explorer, and the first man to cross Antarctica and reach the North Pole — by smashing ice against the ship’s bow.
The ship is a first of its kind for the cruise industry, as the world’s first hybrid vessel, dually powered by diesel engines and massive battery packs onboard. It will sail 540 guests in 265 cabins — half of which have private balconies — with a fully equipped science center, observation deck, infinity pool, spa, gym, three restaurants and bars, and an Explorer Lounge.
John Downey, Hurtigruten’s Americas president, who joined the cruise company last April, spoke to Travel Market Report earlier this year about the ship and Hurtigruten’s plans for North America and travel advisors.