As the world leader in exploration travel, Hurtigruten provides authentic and immersive experiences for travelers seeking to connect with their inner explorer. After spending decades traveling solely along
the Norwegian coast from Bergen to Kirkenes—and back again—Hurtigruten has expanded its itinerary selection. They now offer premium expedition cruises that travel all over the world, from the Northwest Passage to Antarctica, and beyond.
Expedition cruising differs dramatically from a typical cruise. For starters, the ships tend to be far smaller, ranging from 200 – 600 berths. Not only does this create a more intimate experience for like-minded travelers, it also creates more opportunities to explore. Some destinations have limits as to how many people can land at a given time. In Antarctica, for example, no more than 100 visitors may go ashore at any one time, and ships carrying more than 500 people cannot make landings. With a smaller expedition ship, everyone is able to enjoy setting foot on the Great White Continent.
Another benefit of a smaller expedition ship is getting up close and personal to the stunning landscapes and curious wildlife. Maneuvering around the nooks and crannies of the Antarctic Peninsula would be impossible on a larger ship, as would circumnavigating the Svalbard Archipelago, with its often narrow waterways. But, in an expedition vessel whose length doesn’t exceed 500 feet, one can imagine how easy it is to cruise into secluded bays, searching for penguins and seals on nearby icebergs or attempting to spot the elusive polar bear while on deck.
Expedition cruising offers guests more opportunities to experience adventure: Hurtigruten travelers have kayaked in the waters surrounding Antarctica and along the majestic fjords and bays of the Norwegian coastline; hiked massive glaciers in Iceland and Greenland; driven a snowmobile across a frozen fjord; led a team of dogs across an icy tundra in a dogsled; and much more. Each of Hurtigruten’s custom-built expedition ships includes either a fleet of rigid-hull inflatable boats or small explorer boats, specially designed to navigate in polar waters. These smaller watercraft allow guests even closer access to the hard-to-reach coves of remote regions.
And, coming in 2019 and 2020, Hurtigruten will welcome two new groundbreaking ships; MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, both named after legendary polar explorers, will be the most advanced and environmentally friendly expedition vessels at sea, as well as the world’s first hybrid electric-powered cruise ships. The design of the ships’ hulls, energy savings on board, and use of electric propulsion will reduce fuel emissions by 20% and allow guests to sail without engine noise for short periods of time.
Now that expedition cruising has been defined, the question is: where to go? Hurtigruten offers over 40 itinerary options and more than 70 departures, with 200 excursions among them, to remote and hard-to-reach destinations like: Antarctica, Arctic Canada and the Northwest Passage, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Svalbard. They offer unrivaled adventures for guests who value learning and personal growth, and wish to travel in a sustainable way.
The expedition team members on board a Hurtigruten expedition cruise are experts in their field. They have a deep passion for the regions they’re visiting, and love to share their knowledge with guests, be it about marine biology, history, geology, ornithology, or photography. They provide onboard lectures, lead excursions on shore, and are only too eager to answer any questions guests may have throughout the journey. The expedition team is always ready to seize the moment when opportunities arise: if the Northern Lights are dancing in the sky late at night or a polar bear has been sighted early in the morning, the expedition leader will make an announcement to ensure everyone has the chance to witness a stunning natural event.
To summarize, expedition cruising is a unique way to explore the far reaches of the globe; and a premium expedition cruise with Hurtigruten is perfect for educated travelers who seek meaningful experiences. Hurtigruten is the ideal company for those who care about the environment, who desire to leave a smaller footprint, and who long for unforgettable interactions with nature and wildlife.