The 7,025-ton, 320-passenger ship was built in 2009 in Portugal as Atlantida. Atlantida was a ferry intended to sail between Portugal and the Azores, but never went into service. Norway Explorer will operate the same coastal cruises in Norway as Midnatsol, which is joining ms Fram in Antarctica. When Midtnatsol returns in 2017 spring, the new ship will reposition to the Arctic.
Currently, Norway Explorer is on her way to Norway from Portugal. She will be refurbished and fitted with ice-strengthened hull. Limited details of what the interior of the ship will look like have been revealed - only that 180 cabins will be available.
Daniel Skjeldam, chief executive of Hurtigruten, shared that the guest area would consist of common areas and comfortable cabins that made it possible "to experience the spectacular scenery in comfortable surroundings". He added it was an environmentally friendly ship, and they would make further adjustments in order to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
Norway Explorer brings Hurtigruten's fleet to 13 cruise ships. The line did not release a purchase price.