Hurtigruten's New Explorer Ship, MS Spitsbergen, Christened in Svolvær
PHOTO: Hurtigruten ship in Geirangerfjord (Photo courtesy of Hurtigruten)
Hurtigruten has been the world’s premier Nordic water cruise operators since its inception in 1893, but the arrival of the MS Spitsbergen will bring guests even closer to nature.
Christened on July 6 in Svolvær, Norway, MS Spitsbergen is the first addition to the Hurtigruten fleet in 10 years and has been designed to be modern, environmentally friendly and highly maneuverable compared to other ships trekking the Nordic waters.
The MS Spitsbergen is named after the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago of Northern Norway. It’s known as a fantastic destination to see Nordic wildlife like polar bears, reindeer and seabirds and was where Hurtigruten founder Richard With started his expedition tourism business.
The district in which Spitsbergen lies, Lofoten, has been named one of the top travel destinations in the world, by National Geographic among others and Hurtigruten says it has brought millions of people to the region to enjoy its beauty.
The company’s focus on exploration can be seen not only in the ship’s name, but also in who they picked to represent the new ship.
The ship was christened alongside the ship’s godmother, Norwegian adventurer and explorer Cecilie Skog, who is the only woman to visit both poles and the seven highest summits of the world. The 41-year-old adventurer is also the only woman to have skied to the North Pole from the mainland. In 2011, she completed that skiing trip in the summer time, dragging a canoe.
The MS Spitsbergen will carry 335 guests and has trips planned around Norway an also between Canada and Greenland, around the British Isles and to Iceland. Two of the currently planned trips are marvelously themed: the first following the migration of the Vikings and the other exploring the lands of “Elves, Sagas and Volcanoes” in Iceland.
More by Michael Schottey
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