Hurtigruten has announced that the Kong Harald and Polarlys have completed an extensive refurbishment. The upgrades are part of a plan by the line to upgrade four of its 11 Norwegian Coastal ships and add a new expedition ship, the Spitsbergen -- the line's first new ship in 10 years.
The makeovers of the Nordkapp and Nordnorge will be completed in April and November, respectively.
The upgraded ships sport a "New Arctic Interior" look that draws inspiration from modern Scandinavian elements. Additionally, the ship's restaurants now serve a new Coastal Kitchen concept that emphasizes locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. The bar has been moved to the panoramic lounge so that guests can enjoy the view with their cocktails.
Hurtigruten has also purchased and is doing a near-complete reconstruction of the Spitsbergen. It was built in Portugal in 2009 at the Viana do Castelo shipyard, and is now undergoing adaptation for polar waters; upgrading the cabins, suites and public spaces for the 320 guests; and adjusting the power plants and emissions so as to meet Hurtigruten’s standards. The ship will join the fleet along the Norwegian Coastal Voyage route later this spring and replaces the Midnatsol, which will join the Fram in Antarctica for the 2016/17 season.