Hurtigruten’s New Explorer Ship Christened Under the Midnight Sun | Cruise News – July 8, 2016

Hurtigruten’s New Explorer Ship Christened Under the Midnight Sun

Cruise News – July 8, 2016

Thousands of people came out this week in Svolvaer, Norway, to witness the christening of MS Spitsbergen, the newest explorer ship from Hurtigruten, a leader in expedition voyages. The new cruise ship is named after the largest island in the Svalbard Archipelago. Located in the northernmost part of Norway, next to the North Pole, Spitsbergen is also where Hurtigruten founder, Richard With, first started explorer tourism in the Arctic in 1896.

“Adventure travel is one the fastest-growing global tourism mega trends,” says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. “MS Spitsbergen destinations offer everything the new adventure traveler seeks: spectacular scenery, authenticity, a unique history and atmosphere, and access to active nature-based experiences.”

Hurtigruten_MS Spitsbergen Geirangerfjorden 2 ©Mona Samdahl

MS Spitsbergen godmother, Cecilie Skog, popped the champagne bottle against the ship’s side and officially christened Spitsbergen. Skog is one of the most awarded contemporary Norwegian explorers, with achievements that include expeditions to the North Pole, the South Pole, Mount Everest, Antarctica, and Greenland. She has also climbed the “Seven Summits,” standing on top of the highest mountain on each of the seven continents.

After its first season in Norway, the 335-passenger MS Spitsbergen will alternate between the Norwegian coast and polar expeditions. Starting in 2017, guests can sail with her to Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe and Shetland Islands, as well as to Arctic Canada.

Hurtigruten currently operates a fleet of 14 small ships sailing to remote destinations inlcuding Antarctica, Greenland, Norway, and Europe. The line recently announced plans to build up to four new explorer ships for adventure travel.

Photos: Hurtigruten/Ørjan Bertelsen, Hurtigruten/Mona Samdahl

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