This Week in Cruise: Two Christenings for Hurtigruten, MSC

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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