In unique surroundings at latitude 78˚ North in Longyearbyen (on Spitsbergen Island in the Svalbard Archipelago), the community joined the celebrations of one of the greenest and most advanced cruise ships in the world.
Since its founding expedition cruising back in 1896 with voyages to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard (dubbed “next to the North Pole”) Hurtigruten has grown to become the world's leading expedition cruise ship operator.
Replacing with a chunk of ice the traditional bottle of champagne, the godmothers Hilde Falun Strom (Norwegian) and Sunniva Sorby (Canadian) officially named MS Fridtjof Nansen by continuing the Hurtigruten's ritual invented by Roald Amundsen himself. As Sorby and Strom crushed the ice against the bow, they quoted Amundsen’s words from when he named polar vessel Maud in 1917.
The traditional godmother gift was replaced by a joint donation to local projects by Sorby and Strom’s Hearts in the Ice project and Hurtigruten Foundation.
MS Fridtjof Nansen is also the first cruiser ever to be registered in Longyearbyen.