Hurtigruten Sails Toward Major 2016/2017 Expansion
Photo courtesy of Hurtigruten
Hurtigruten and its off-the-beaten-path programming, known for signature year-round Norwegian coastal sailings and worldwide expeditions, are sailing towards an even loftier expansion in 2016 and 2017.
For 2016 alone, the line plans to triple its Antarctica capacity, introduce a ship specifically for “extreme experiences,” refurbish four Norwegian Coastal Voyage vessels and launch its new Spitsbergen. The ship was originally built in 2009 and will have its interiors redesigned by Tillberg Design and be retooled for polar waters and reducing emissions and fuel consumption.
Then in 2017, the Explorer Program will expand from two to four ships embarking on expedition cruises; the Arctic program will add Canadian Newfoundland and Labrador to Spitsbergen, Iceland and Greenland, including Kangertittivaq or Scoresby; and tropical itineraries will feature Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and the Amazon river in the Brazilian rainforest.
“We want to offer our guests unique and meaningful experiences regardless of the water temperature,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. “Hurtigruten attracts guests who want to be involved, not be passive spectators. They want active excursions, to interact with local people, to learn about the cultures, geography, geology, climates and history of the destinations they are visiting, and they want to sail with a company dedicated to sustainable travel and the environment.”
In fact, the line has recently established the Hurtigruten Foundation intent on preserving the landscapes and cultures they explore, and the foundation proudly touts Lewis Pugh – swimmer, ocean advocate and the UN-appointed “Patron of the Oceans” – as its first ambassador.
“Many of the areas Hurtigruten sails to are vulnerable. It is important to showcase nature in the gentlest manner possible and to educate and encourage our guests to become ambassadors, who will then help to preserve it,” says Skjeldam.
The cruise line offers the following excitement:
Found on the east coast of Greenland is exploration of Kangertittivaq or Scoresby, a 350-kilometer fjord available for touring, along with visits to Iceland, Jan Mayen and Beerenberg in Svalbard, the site of the world’s northernmost volcano, and Lofoten.
Guest experiences include seeing a juxtaposition of glaciers and volcanoes as well as whales, dolphins, seabirds, polar bears and musk oxen. Arctic expedition cruises to the town of Thule on the northwestern tip of Greenland are also featured.
Hurtigruten and the MS Fram are now setting out for tropical destinations like the Brazilian rainforest and regional experiences such as natural exploration, canoe journeys and shoreside hikes with landings at sites like Parintins and Santarém. Safe encounters can be had with jaguars, tapirs, howler monkeys, parrots, piranhas and caimans.
Antarctica remains a Hurtigruten staple as the line is tripling its 2016 berths with the MS Midnatsol joining the MS Fram. Cruise highlights include the Chilean fjords, Cape Horn, Magellan Strait, Punta Arenas and the White Continent with opportunites to hike on glacial ice, walk with penguins, kayak among seals, snorkel in icy water and even camp overnight.
Exploration and education come together on Hurtigruten Explorer cruises to Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada with history, zoology, botany, and environmental science lectures and expedition team-led excursions. Landings include L'Anse aux Meadows, a fishing village on the UNESCO World Heritage List, where the family of then young Benedicte Ingstad, now guiding select sailings, discovered a Viking settlement.
The Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America are also featured by Hurtigruten including the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, and its local residents, penguins, birds, whales, seals and other wildlife. Itineraries like the “Land of the Inca” from Valparaíso and “Penguins, Patagonia and Poetry” from Ushuaia are available.
What's more, Hurtigruten has Atlantic crossings in both directions with landings available in Amsterdam, Guernsey, La Coruña, Cadiz, Casablanca and Cape Verde.
Additional information is available by visiting www.hurtigruten.com or by calling 800-323-7436.
More by Jason Leppert
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