Hurtigruten signed a letter of intent for up to 4 new expedition ships. This is the largest investment in the 123-year history of the Norwegian cruise line. It follows the announcement in April 2016 that Hurtigruten will add 2 new explorer vessels to its fleet, with the first to be delivered in summer 2018 and the 2nd in summer 2019.
The latest news includes an option for the construction of further two ships, and also marks one of the biggest orders ever received by Norwegian-based Kleven shipyard.
Daniel Skjeldam, Hurtigruten chief executive, said the company had placed the order for up to 4 new ships in order to meet the growing adventure travel demand.
It's been more than 10 years since the line last placed an order for construction of a new ship, the expedition vessel Fram. Previously, 3 of the ships have been built by Kleven, with the last one being Finnmarken in 2002.
The two newbuilds are being designed by Rolls-Royce with assistance of the Norwegian designer Espen Oino. They will have around 300 cabins each, with capacity for approximately 600 passengers, and boast advanced environmentally-friendly technology reducing emissions.