Hurtigruten has announced plans to transform three of its ships into hybrid-powered expedition vessels. The Trollfjord, Finnmarken and Midnatsol will be equipped with battery packs and other green technology before being renamed the Maud, Otto Sverdrup and Eirik Raude. The renovated ships will set sail in 2021 on year-round expedition cruises along the Norwegian coast, with the exact itineraries still to be determined.
The project will begin in 2020 with the Otto Sverdrup, followed by the Maud and Eirik Raude in 2021. All three ships will receive battery packs to support their engines, which Hurtigruten said will drastically cut emissions. Additionally, the three ships will be equipped for shore power to cut emissions to zero when docked in ports with shore power facilities, as well as substantially upgraded low-emission engines that the cruise line said comply with all known and upcoming regulations (Tier 3).
Following the renovations the three ships will have a capacity of 530 guests, as well as a number of new amenities and onboard venues. All public areas will be redesigned in a relaxed style incorporating natural Scandinavian materials such as granite, oak, birch and wool, and the ships will receive a new, specially designed Expedition Launch to serve as a tender bit area where guests embark on excursions.
All cabins and suites will be completely refurbished, and new suites will be added. Each ship will also receive a new Science Center; a Hurtigruten signature, this edutainment area will be filled with science equipment and other interactive features, plus it will serve as the onboard headquarters for the ship’s Expedition Team.
There will also be a new wellness area with a gym, lounge and treatment rooms. The pool area on the Otto Sverdrup and the outdoor hot tub areas on the Maud and Eirik Raude will also be fully upgraded.
In terms of dining, each ship will receive new restaurants to match the cruise line’s new restaurant concepts on its other expedition ships. The main restaurant will be transformed into Restaurant Aune, the line’s new expedition cruise main restaurant concept, serving Scandinavian breakfast, lunch and dinner in a space that incorporates natural materials. Also new will be the Restaurant Lindstrøm: named after the favorite chef of the Norwegian polar heroes, this venue will be an upper premium, fine dining specialty restaurant serving a menu that combines traditional Norwegian cooking contrasted with modern cuisine. Finally, the ships will receive the informal eatery Fredheim, named after a legendary 1920’s hunting station in Svalbard, as well as a new outdoor grill venue on the top decks.
The move follows this summer’s launch of the Roald Amundsen, Hurtigruten’s new hybrid powered expedition ship.