MS Maud current position
Specifications of MS Maud
|Year built||2003 / Age: 19|
|Builder||Fosen Mekaniske Verksteder (Rissa, Norway)|
|Class||cruiseferry (Ro-Pax ship)|
|Ferry route / homeports||Bergen-Kirkenes|
|Speed||15 kn / 28 kph / 17 mph|
|Length (LOA)||136 m / 446 ft|
|Beam (width)||22 m / 72 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||16140 gt|
|Passengers||500 - 970|
|Decks with cabins||3|
|Sister-ships||MS Trollfjord (Eirik Raude), MS Finnmarken (Otto Sverdrup)|
|Former names||MS Midnatsol|
MS Maud Itineraries
|Date||Itinerary||Departure Port||Price from|
|2023 Mar 04||10 days, one-way from Dover to Tromso||Dover|
|2023 Mar 04||21 days, round-trip 21 Night The Ultimate Winter Expedition Cruise from Dover Cruise||Dover|
|2023 Mar 14||11 days, one-way from Tromso to Dover||Tromso|
MS Maud Review
Review of MS Maud
NEWS: In 2021, Hurtigruten added 4 old ships to the company's expedition fleet - Spitsbergen (2009), Midnatsol (2003), Trollfjord (2002) and Finnmarken (2002). This fleet also includes Fram (2007) and the 3 newbuilds - Roald Amundsen (2019), Fridtjof Nansen (2020) and TBN (2021).
Following an extensive drydock refurbishment and refit, in January 2021 the Hurtigruten Midnatsol ship will be renamed "MS Maud".
History - construction and ownership
The shipowner Hurtigruten is a Norwegian passenger shipping company specializing in cruise and ferry services. The "Norwegian Coastal Express Route" (Bergen-Kirkenes) is a cargo-passenger ferry service along Norway's western and northern coast. Hurtigruten's cruise ferries sail nearly the entire length of Norway and complete this roundtrip itinerary in 11 days. The route also includes Lofoten Islands and Vesteralen Islands.
The 1000-passenger ship Midnatsol was inaugurated in April 2003 with a maiden voyage along the Norwegian coast. The vessel's initial name (Midnatsol) means "Midnight Sun". Accordingly, its interior design was celestial-themed, colourful and with numerous modern Norwegian artworks on display through the vessel. Together with MS Trollfjord (sistership) Midnatsol (now Maud) is one of the newest in the Hurtigruten fleet. This is also the 4th cruise ship to be named "MS Midnatsol" since the Hurtigruten's establishment in 1893.
MS Maud is named after the Roald Amundsen-owned ship Maud (1917-built, acquired by HBC-Hudson's Bay Company in 1925, 1930-sank at Cambridge Bay / Victoria Island, Nunavut Canada). The original Maud ship was named after Queen Maud of Wales (1869-1938) - Norway's first Queen as the spouse of King Haakon VII (1872-1957, in reign since 1905). The namesake in the Hurtigruten's fleet was the 1925-built ship DS Dronning Maud ("Queen Maud"). Queen Maud was the youngest daughter of Edward VII (1841-1910, King of the UK and the British Dominions and Emperor of India / reign 1901-1910) and Alexandra of Denmark (1844-1925).
Decks and Cabins
MS Maud staterooms (262 total/reduced from 301 on MS Midnatsol) in 13 grades. The Midnatsol ship had 23x Suites, 213x Outside and 61x Inside, in all 11 grades. Cabin sizes vary from 9 m2 (100-ft2 Inside and Outside) to 45 m2 (485-ft2 Owners Suite with Balcony).
The ship has a total of 4x Outside wheelchair-accessible cabins (category YA-Accessible, sized 16-17 m2) all located midship on Deck 6 (near the elevators). All handicap cabins are at double occupancy (sleep up to two people per room), with a double bed (alternatively two lower beds or lower-upper bunk beds) and specifically designed for passengers with disabilities.
The boat has 9 decks, of which 7 are passenger-accessible and 3 with cabins.
Most Midnatsol-Maud staterooms are Outside and sized 10-11-12-14 m2. The largest accommodations are the Owner's Suites (Deck 8). Standard cabin amenities include en-suite bathroom (WC-shower, single-sink mirrored vanity, heated floors, towels, bath products), smart HDTV (Internet capabilities), direct dial phone, lounge area (writing desk, chair, wardrobe, coffee/tea making facility / kettle, glasses), under-bed storage, wall-mounted reading lamps, smart HDTV, electronic safe box (in the closet), 220V plugs. All rooms are air-conditioned. Suites additionally have a coffee maker, lounge area (low table, modern armchairs, 2-seater sofa).
The ship's max passenger capacity (970) is limited to 500 on Antarctic voyages. Following the drydock reconstruction in 2021, the boat's max capacity will be reduced from 631 to 532 berths (beds).
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
MS Midnatsol features various dining venues. Dining in the main restaurant is relaxed and informal. All menus are planned around seasonal fresh ingredients and benefit from local produce to satisfy guests' healthy appetites stimulated by the sea air. The 24-hour cafe offers drinks and snacks. There is also a selection of lounges and bars with drinks available.
MS Midnatsol restaurants and food bars were:
- Midnatsol Restaurant (335-seat dining room restaurant with floor-ceiling windows and a large buffet station in the middle. The Dining Room offered buffet-style Breakfast (7-10 am) and Lunch (11:30 am - 2:30 pm). Dinner was in two fixed seatings - at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm, waiter-served, with a 3-course menu and a la carte menu (with light snacks).
- The a la carte Restaurant Grill & Food Court was a 24-hour open cafeteria with a la carte priced menu (for snacks, hot meals, beverages). It served mainly local (ferry) passengers, who use the Midnatsol ship as a port-to-port ferry boat. The restaurant's portside part had a separate seating area ("Cafe") often used as a reading corner.
MS Maud's restaurants are all located on Deck 5 and named Aune (aft Dining Room), Fredheim (midship-starboard casual restaurant) and Lindstrom (midship-portside specialty restaurant).
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
Onboard MS Midnatsol you can have an unforgettable cruising experience. What would you say about 35 ports of call in seven days? This unique ship is a combination of a cargo ship, car and passenger ferry, expedition vessel and a luxury cruise ship. Many passengers use Hurtigruten's ships as transportation, point-to-point along the coast of Norway, up to 50 travel with their automobiles.
Except staying all the time onboard, MS Maud cruise passengers could benefit from unique shore excursions and special lectures by historians and naturalists about Norwegian culture, Norwegian Christmas traditions and Norway's Arctic Northern Lights.
Follows the complete list of MS Midnatsol lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.
- The Car Deck (capacity of 45 cars)
- Conference Rooms (host multimedia presentations, lectures by scientists/wildlife experts, films about Norway; no onboard show program is offered)
- Kids Playroom (no organized activities/babysitting are offered); Video Games Arcade
- The Shop (sells Norwegian souvenirs, Hurtigruten logo merchandise, jewellery, toiletries, clothing)
- Promenade Deck (full-circle open-air deck space)
- Panorama Lounge (2-deck high, with floor-ceiling windows)
- Paradis Bar (a seating area served by the Mysterier Bar)
- Mysterier Bar (with floor-ceiling windows; features a selection of Norway's Aquavit liquors)
- Internet corner/Internet Cafe (4 Internet computers and a printer, free of charge); Library
- The Hamsun Room (decorated with wood-panels and paintings by Norwegian artist Kenneth Blom; great to use the free Wi-Fi)
- Horisont Hall and Horisont Gallery (indoor observation lounge with panoramic windows, served by the Polar Bar)
- Polar Bar (12-seat, with great views of Atrium levels below)
- The TRIM Fitness (equipped with exercise bikes, treadmills, free weights); Saunas (for men/women); 2 jacuzzis
- The Sun Deck is the place for Hurtigruten's special ceremony "Arctic Circle baptism", including a Neptune-costumed crewmember, icy seawater, and a shot for warming up.
New venues and facilities on the MS Maud ship include:
- Forward on Deck 5 is located Science Center (edutainment venue) fitted with top-notch technology gadgets and interactive learning tools. Science sessions are complimentary and themed on the visited by the Maud cruise ship regions and itinerary destinations. The educational complex consists of Photo Studio, Lecture Halls and Science Center (areas with portside and starboard views).
- On Deck 9 are located an outdoor Observation Deck (aft), an outdoor Gym (with professional fitness equipment / aft-midship), two outdoor jacuzzies (whirlpool hot tubs / midship), outdoor seating area with an Outdoor BBQ, Explorer Bar Lounge (upper level 2 of 2 / fore-located, at the bow).
On MS Maud is implemented "Norway's Coastal Kitchen" - Hurtigruten's new food sourcing program with freshest ingredients from local suppliers delivered at the ports along the Norwegian coast. The Maud vessel has three restaurants - Aune (main dining room), Fredheim (casual fast food and vegan alternatives) and Lindstrom (fine dining venue / specialty restaurant named after Roald Amundsen's Chef Adolf Lindstrom).
Maud Science Centre (deck 5 forward, on the below photo) is a large "scientific lounge" (research lab) packed with high-tech gadgets (including microscopes and touch screens) and latest digital technology equipment. The venue consists of Library, Lecture Halls, Photo Center (photo- and video-processing studio), Conference Room, Expedition Team Room, dedicated areas for themed educational activities (workshops in biology, marine life, geography, photography, etc), Bar. Hurtigruten's Expedition Team provides here passengers with scientific information and technology assistance.
A professionally trained Onboard Expedition Team provides on each expedition cruise information and assistance from knowledgeable experts and passionate explorers who serve as guides during the voyage. By the Hurtigruten's onboard enrichment program, these professionals present lectures and lead various shipboard and land-based activities themed on Norway's natural treasures and cultural traditions - including friluftsliv (the outdoor life).
MS Midnatsol itinerary program was based on Norwegian Coastal Voyages with routes including scenic cruising along the Norwegian Fjords. Midnatsol was mostly used as a ferry for both passengers and cars, but some guests booked the entire roundtrip 12-day itineraries out of Bergen and Kirkenes.
In 2016 Fall the Hurtigruten expedition ship Spitsbergen replaced Midnatsol, which started its inaugural Antarctica cruise program in South America.
MS Maud itinerary program started with the Inaugural Cruise on September 12, 2021. The ship's new itineraries are based on UK homeporting (roundtrips from Dover England) to the Norwegian Fjords and North Cape (Arctic Norway). Prices started from ~GBP 3500 / ~EUR 3800 / ~USD 4500 per person (with double occupancy).
Special itineraries in 2021 included:
- 13-day "British Isles" itinerary roundtrip from Dover to Wales (Fishguard), Ireland (Rathlin Island), Scotland (Isle of Iona, Staffa, St Kilda / Hirta Island, Stornoway, Islay), Isle of Man (Douglas), Ireland (Waterford) and England (Isles of Scilly, Dartmouth, Dover). Departures in 2021 are on May 25, August 15 and September 10. Prices start from GBP 3600 pp.
- 15-day "Southern Scandinavia" itinerary visits 4 countries, explores the Swedish archipelago Koster Islands and features a transit of the 61-mi long Kiel Canal. The 15-days Dover roundtrip voyage visits Germany (List auf Sylt / Sylt Island, Kiel Canal, Kiel), Denmark (Skagen), Sweden (Koster Islands, Weather Islands, Karingon Island, Smogen Island), Norway (Oslo, Kragero, Farsund, Rosendal, Lysefjord). Departures in 2021 are on June 20, July 18 and August 27. Prices start from GBP 3900 pp.
The classic "Northern Lights and Fjords Expedition" voyage is a 15-day ex-UK itinerary (Dover roundtrip) priced from ~GBP 3500 pp. The voyage visits only ports in Norway - Stavanger, Alesund, Bronnoysund, Reine and Svolvaer (both on day 6), Tromso (overnight / days 7-8), Honningsvag (North Cape), Finnsnes, Kristiansund and Molde (both on day 12) and Bergen.
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MS Maud Wiki
Midnatsol cruise ship (the name means "Midnight Sun") joined Hurtigruten's fleet in 2003 as sister to Trollfjord. It is the fourth Hurtigruten ship to bear this name. One of the previous namesakes was the Lindblad Expeditions ship National Geographic Explorer. The Midnatsol ship boasts colourful decor, Norwegian modern art collection on display, large, 2-story panorama lounge above the bow, as well as large glass expanses which allow natural light to enter and provide extraordinary views.
Fun fact is, that in August 2004, the "Hurtigruten 365" series was recorded by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation aboard ms Midnatsol. The result was 20 episodes shown on television.
MS Midnatsol cruises along Norway's coast. Some use the vessel as transportation (ferry). Other are cruise passengers booking the full 12-day round trip itinerary. Departing from Port Bergen, the ship sails to Port Kirkenes roundtrip. This is an Arctic outpost near Russia's border, stopping at uniquely picturesque 34 ports along the way. Norwegian coastal cruise passengers can opt for 5-11 nights stays, with the full 12-day sailing from Bergen to Kirkenes, then going back southbound. In most ports of call are offered Hurtigruten-sponsored excursions and tours. A ceremony "Crossing the Arctic Circle” welcomes newcomers.
On Hurtigruten Norwegian coastal voyages, the company offers flight-cruise package deals. Bookings are protected with ATOL Certificate. ATOL stands for "Air Travel Organisers' Licensing" (Civil Aviation Authority, UK).
The next table shows MS Maud's Maiden Voyage in 2021. The 12-day itinerary was themed ""Remote Islands, Natural Wonders and A Diverse Coastline". Prices started from ~GBP 3500 / ~EUR 3800 / ~USD 4500 per person (with double occupancy).
|Date / Time||Port|
|12 Sep||Departing from Dover, England|
|14 Sep||Fishguard, Wales|
|15 Sep||Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland|
|16 Sep||Isle of Iona, Scotland|
|16 Sep||Isle of Staffa, Scotland|
|17 Sep||St Kilda Islands, Scotland|
|18 Sep||Stornoway, Isle of Lewis and Harris, Scotland|
|19 Sep||Isle of Islay, Port Ellen, Scotland|
|20 Sep||Isle of Man, Peel-Douglas|
|21 Sep||Waterford, Ireland|
|22 Sep||Tresco Island, Scilly Isles, England|
|23 Sep||Dartmouth, England|
|24 Sep||Arriving in Dover|
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