Hurtigruten announced that three of its ships will be drydock converted to hybrid-powered vessels. Equipped with battery packs, the trio will operate year-round expedition voyages along Norway's coast from 2021 on yet to be unveiled itineraries.
Hurtigruten, which recently inaugurated world's first hybrid-powered cruise ship (Roald Amundsen) will add another 3 hybrid-powered ships to its fleet. The current MS Trollfjord, MS Finnmarken, MS Midnatsol, will be renamed to MS Maud, MS Otto Sverdrup, MS Eirik Raude.
- MS Otto Sverdrup will boast battery packs installed during her 2020 yard stay, with a letter of intent for the battery installation on MS Eirik Raude and MS Maud in 2021. The battery packs are due to support the engines of the ships and cut emissions.
- The three expedition ships will be equipped for shore power, in order to cut emissions to zero while docked in ports with shore power facilities.
- The trio will also get upgraded low-emission engines, complying with all current and upcoming regulations.
Via the three largest upgrade projects in Hurtigruten’s history, the vessels will be transformed into premium expedition ships, carrying a maximum of 530 passengers.
The upgrades will introduce a number of new features and venues onboard the ships, including:
- Using natural Scandinavian materials like granite, oak, wool, and birch, all public areas on MS Eirik Raude, MS Maud, and MS Otto Sverdrup, will be redesigned to create a stylish look.
- An Expedition Launch (tender pit area where passengers embark on excursions) will be added to the ships, complete with expedition equipment and tender boats.
- All staterooms and suites will be refurbished, and new suites with ocean views added to all 3 ships.
- Hurtigruten’s Science Center will be added to the trio. Packed with high-tech gadgets and state-of-the-art technology, the area will be the onboard HQ for the Expedition Team.
- A new wellness area, complete with lounge, gym, and treatment rooms will be added. The pool area (on MS Otto Sverdrup) and outdoor hot tub areas (on MS Eirik Raude and MS Maud) will be upgraded.
Three new restaurants will be added to match the new restaurant concepts of the cruise line:
- The main dining rooms will be transformed into Restaurant Aune, the new expedition cruise main restaurant concept of Hurtigruten. Aune is due to become informal and social through the use of natural elements in interiors and to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner based on the Scandinavian identity.
- Restaurant Lindstrom is a speciality dining venue named after the favourite chef of Norway's polar heroes. It is an upper premium fine dining restaurant featuring strong roots in Norwegian cooking which are contrasted with contemporary cuisine.
- Fredheim is an informal eatery named after a 1920s hunting station in Svalbard which sheltered adventurers from around the globe.
- In addition, an outdoor grill venue is to be added outdoor on the ships' top decks.
The extensive onboard art collections will be preserved.
- The current MS Trollfjord, MS Maudis, is named after one of the most popular polar ships of all time, Roald Amundsen's “Maud” (1917). The original “Maud” ship got her name from the first modern-day Norway Queen, who had her namesake in the line’s flagship DS Dronning Maud (1925, “DS Queen Maud”).
- The current MS Finnmarken (Otto Sverdrup) is named after one of the most notable polar heroes of Norway. Alongside Fridtjof Nansen, he's the first to ski across Greenland, a contributor to a number of expeditions and captain on the legendary “Fram” polar ship. Sverdrup has a close connection to the Hurtigruten company: between expeditions, he was the captain on Hurtigruten vessels.
- The current MS Midnatsol, MS Eirik Raude, is named after one of the most popular Viking chiefs. Eirik Raude (Eric the Red) got his name from his red beard and is known for discovering Greenland, as well as for giving the island its name.