This Week in Cruise: Two Christenings for Hurtigruten, MSC

(Photo by MSC Cruises)

It’s been another busy week for new ship christenings. 

This week Hurtigruten celebrated the naming ceremony for its newest expedition ship, the Roald Amundsen, in a far-flung destination: Antarctica. With polar pioneer Karin Strand serving as the ship’s godmother, the ceremony eschewed the traditional bottle of champagne in favor of breaking a chunk of ice across the new ship’s bow. The new ship, which has a capacity of 530 guests, is the first of two hybrid-electric expedition vessels for the cruise line; Hurtigruten said that hybrid-electric power allows the ship to operate with 20 percent less carbon dioxide emissions. Other amenities on the new vessel include a specially ice-strengthened hull; large observation platforms for scenery- and wildlife-viewing; three restaurants that aim to reflect local flavors; and a special pool deck with infinity pools, Jacuzzis and cocktail bars. The ship will spend the 2019 – 2020 season in Antarctica before heading to Alaska for summer 2020. 

Also this week MSC Cruises celebrated the christening of its newest ship, the MSC Grandiosa, with the announcement of a new plan to make its marine operations entirely carbon-neutral as of January 1, 2020. Named by godmother Sophia Loren, the new ship has two new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows; a Mediterranean Promenade with international shops and restaurants; an immersive art experience with etchings from Edgar Degas’ Danse Dessin series; dedicated children’s areas designed in partnership with Lego and Chicco; and a new digital cruise assistant called ZOE. The christening ceremony took place in Hamburg, Germany

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