Hurtigruten’s two new hybrid powered expedition ships under construction at Kleven Yards have been named Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen, after two influential Norwegian polar pioneers from the era when the company itself first started offering adventure travels. The vessels are due to be delivered in 2018 and 2019.
“On December 14, it will be exactly 105 years since Roald Amundsen became the first person in the world to plant his flag on the South Pole,” notes Daniel Skjeldam, CEO, Hurtigruten. “It has been 128 years since Fridtjof Nansen skied across Greenland and it is 120 years since Richard With, Hurtigruten’s founder, first started exploration tourism in the Arctic. So what could be more natural and appropriate than to name our new ships after these inspiring trailblazers.”
The new 140-meter-long ships are designed by Rolls-Royce in collaboration with Norwegian yacht designer Espen Øino specifically for voyages in polar waters, with strengthened hulls for traversing ice. They are engineered also for the service route along the Norwegian coast.
Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen will reportedly be the world’s first expeditionary ships able to sail fully electric with hybrid technology, capable of running for 15-30 minutes on electric propulsion. However, the total reduction in fuel consumption and hence CO2-emissions, is the main gain, Hurtigruten said: the technology, in combination with the construction of the hull and effective use of electricity on board, will reduce emissions from the ships by 20 percent.
As for the vessels’ on-board experience, the interiors will mirror the exterior waters and landscapes, with predominantly Norwegian materials inspired by nature with the use of granite, oak, birch, wool, among other materials. All of which will be characterized by an innovative Scandinavian approach to interior design. The vessels will have capacity for 530 passengers in 265 cabins.
The vessels will have three restaurants with menus reflecting local flavors and destinations. A special pool deck will include infinity pools, Jacuzzis and bars. The ships will have large observation platforms on several decks for guests to get up-close to nature and wildlife. Six out of 10 cabins will have their own balcony; two out of 10 will be suites.
“These ground-breaking expedition ships will revolutionize adventure travel at sea,” said Skeldjam. “We are combining Hurtigruten’s 120-years of know-how with cutting-edge technology and design, and a strong commitment to sustainability, to offer the modern-day adventure traveller unprecedented experiences.”