Hurtigruten Welcomes MS Spitsbergen

Norway’s Hurtigruten welcomed the latest addition to its fleet today in the country’s fabled Lofoten Islands.

The 7,344-GT MS Spitsbergen was christened as the coastal and expedition operator’s 14th ship at an intimate event in Svolvaer. At 2000 hrs under the midnight sun, explorer Cecile Skog sent a bottle of champagne into the ship’s bow, witnessed by her passengers, Hurtigruten executives, members of the local community and sister ships MS Richard With and MS Midnatsol.

Formerly operating as a ferry, the ship has been completely reconstructed and redesigned by Sweden’s Tillberg Design. Following the line’s new design ethos, her cabins feature fresh and clean Scandinavian interiors, with a larger proportion of these being outside cabins and suites suited for her expedition role. Other passenger facilities include a spacious dining room, panoramic lounge, jacuzzis, fitness room and open deck space.

MS Spitsbergen will initially replace MS Midnatsol on Hurtigruten’s traditional coastal route when the latter sails down to Antarctica in Autumn 2016. Like the venerable MS Lofoten, the ship will skip port calls at night, leaving her time to instead spend a few more hours in selected ports at daytime. Hurtigruten has plans for the ship to alternate between the coastal route and polar expeditions.

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