Hurtigruten partners with Queen Sonja Print Award: Young artists and royal art to decorate hybrid ships

When the world’s first hybrid powered expedition ship embarks on her maiden voyage, every piece of art on board will be handpicked by HM Queen Sonja of Norway’s art foundation - the Queen Sonja Print Award.

- The unique partnership we are gathered here today to celebrate, is the cooperation between Hurtigruten and The Queen Sonja Print Award. Hurtigruten strives to provide their guests with an unforgettable experience. Exquisite art to enjoy on the journey is part of this experience, the queen said during an event on board Hurtigruten’s MS Fram – docked in New York.

Almost 600 unique works of art by young Norwegian artists, as well as previous award winners and works of art by HM Queen Sonja herself will be featured throughout MS Roald Amundsen.

In addition, the Hurtigruten-QSPA partnership includes the possibility for design and development of joint merchandise, resident artists onboard Hurtigruten’s expedition ships, art talks, exhibitions and more.

- We are very excited about the new partnership and the opportunities this presents to our guests. HM Queen Sonja, QSPA and Hurtigruten found each other through a common love for the outdoors, nature and art, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

With large battery packs and groundbreaking green technology, MS Roald Amundsen will join Hurtigruten’s growing fleet of small, custom built expedition ships in 2019. Named after the legendary explorer, she will honor her namesake by exploring destinations such as Antarctica, the Arctic and the Norwegian coast.

- At Hurtigruten, we are building the next generation expedition ships. At QSPA, they are highlighting the next generation of young artists. A partnership is a very natural fit. It is an honor to, literally, have Her Majesty and the QSPA on board, Skjeldam says.

The extensive on-board art collection on MS Roald Amundsen will include multiple prints in all suites and cabins, and public spaces such as restaurants, staircases and corridors. Close to 20 different artists will adorn the ship with their work, showing a wide range of prints and the many possibilities this field of art has to offer.

 - The Viking ships were decorated with the most beautiful wooden carvings: Dragon heads and flowers, ornaments and animals adorned Leiv Eiriksson’s ship – as he fought his way through the waves towards Newfoundland, where he first set foot. Today, a 1000 years later – we continue the tradition – and decorate a proud ship – sailing on our oceans on a much more peaceful mission than back in the early Viking age, the Queen said during her speech.

The Hurtigruten-QSPA partnership also includes a plan to expand the cooperation to include curation of the artwork on board MS Fridtjof Nansen, slated to debut Summer of 2019.  

About Queen Sonja Print Award

The H.M. Queen Sonja Art Foundation was established in 2011 to generate interest in and promote the development of graphic art. The Foundation presents the Queen Sonja Print Award every other year.

The winner receives a cash prize of NOK 400 000 and an residency stay at the Atelje Larsen art studio in Helsingborg, Sweden.

The QSPA focuses on the powerful link between art and culture, with printmaking as one of the most easily accessible, inherently democratic forms of art.