Hurtigruten has delayed the launch of its new expedition cruise ship, the Roald Amundsen, until 2019, a cruise line representative tells Travel Agent. According to Hurtigruten, the shipyard where the vessel is currently under construction, Kleven yard, has said that it will need more time to complete the vessel and will not be able to deliver it on schedule “due to the complexity of the project.” The vessel had been originally slated for delivery in 2018.
“While we are eager to welcome you on board this truly unique vessel as soon as possible, this delay means that we unfortunately must cancel the voyage that you had booked with us,” wrote Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam in a letter to affected guests provided to Travel Agent. “Please accept my sincerest apologies, and rest assured that we will do everything within our power to make your Hurtigruten adventure happen.”
All guests affected by the cancellation will receive a full refund, including flight cancellation costs, the cruise line said. Additionally, they will be offered a number of discounts on alternative Hurtigruten expedition sailings.
The Roald Amundsen is the first of two hybrid vessels on tap for Hurtigruten over the next few years, which use partially electric propulsion, the efficient use of electricity onboard and an advanced hull design to cut CO2 emissions by up to 20 percent, according to the cruise line. The building of the two hybrid ships represents the largest investment in the company’s history.
The two new ships will be specially designed for polar voyages and will have large observation platforms on several decks for scenery and wildlife viewing. They will have a capacity of approximately 600 guests based on double occupancy, with six out of 10 cabins having their own balcony. Two out of every 10 will be suites. The vessels will also have three restaurants with menus that aim to reflect local flavors, as well as a special pool deck with infinity pools, Jacuzzis and cocktail bars.
The second new hybrid ship will be named the Fridtjof Nansen.