Hurtigruten introduces Northwest Passage by hybrid ship and voyages to Franz Josef Land
From the Northwest Passage and Franz Josef Land, via Svalbard and the Norwegian coast, to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu: Hurtigruten releases the most diverse and wide-ranging selection of expedition voyages in the company’s 125-year history.
With three ships in Antarctica and five ships calling in Svalbard in the 2019/2020 season, Hurtigruten is strengthening its position as the world leader in exploration travel.
“Honouring our explorer heritage, we are constantly seeking new waters to explore. With our new ships and new itineraries, Hurtigruten is setting a new global standard for exploration travel to the polar edges of the world – and to new frontiers,” said CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
In addition to the exceptional encounters with nature, wildlife, and culture offered at recognised Hurtigruten destinations, the new program also offers several new destinations for modern-day adventurers:
- Explore the full North West Passage, following in the wake of polar explorer legend Roald Amundsen on board the state-of-the-art hybrid-powered expedition ship named after him
- Break new ground when exploring the wild and rarely-visited Franz Josef Land in Russia, well north of the 80th parallel
- Be amongst the first guests on board the hybrid powered MS Fridtjof Nansen, on voyages from Amsterdam to the Norwegian coast, via Bjørnøya, to Longyearbyen, Svalbard – or the reverse itinerary. A sailing inspired by the legendary Sportsman’s Route that Hurtigruten founder Richard With established in 1896
- Experience highlights of the dramatic and alluring Norwegian coast including the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, the Lofoten Islands and tiny fishing villages under the Midnight Sun – by the hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen. Embarking and disembarking in Hamburg, Germany
Northwest Passage: From the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean
The first to conquer the Northwest Passage by ship was Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on an expedition that lasted from 1903 to 1906, aboard a converted herring boat, the Gjøa.
In 2019, Hurtigruten will offer modern adventurers premium standard expeditions through the storied waterway.
“Guests of the cutting-edge MS Roald Amundsen will be the first in the world to experience the raw beauty of this rarely-travelled passage on board a hybrid powered expedition vessel,” said Skjeldam.
In addition to the full traverse with the MS Roald Amundsen, Hurtigruten offers several Northwest Passage voyages on board the MS Fram, with turnarounds in the legendary settlement of Cambridge Bay.
Franz Josef Land: Northernmost Hurtigruten Expedition Ever
Franz Josef Land was discovered by an Austrian-Hungarian polar expedition 1873. However, eight years earlier, the Norwegian captain N. F. Rønnbeck had seen the islands from his ship, the Spidsbergen.
From 2019, Hurtigruten will let guests set foot on the world´s northernmost archipelago on board its namesake, the custom-built expedition vessel the MS Spitsbergen.
“This is expedition sailing at its most authentic. Sailing north of the 80th parallel north means that guests will find themselves closer than 600 nautical miles from the Geographical North Pole. This is the furthest north any Hurtigruten expedition vessel has ever operated,” said Skjeldam.
Hybrid exploration of the Norwegian coast
In addition to the eleven ships daily sailing the Norwegian coast, Hurtigruten will bring both their new hybrid powered vessels to the Norwegian coast for the summer of 2019.
MS Fridtjof Nansen will depart from Amsterdam for a series of voyages, taking guests to explore the unforgettable Norwegian fjords, crossing of the Arctic Circle and visiting the North Cape – before sailing via the isolated Bjørnøya halfway between the North Cape and Svalbard, to call at Longyearbyen. Alternatively, they can choose to sail the same route southbound.
Highlights include known Hurtigruten ports and landing sites, and new unique destinations such as Rosendal, Sommarøy, Trollfjorden and Skarsvåg - described as the world's northernmost fishing village – and several days of exploring Svalbard.
The itinerary is inspired by the Sportsman’s Route, established by Hurtigruten's founder, Captain Richard With, to bring visitors to the high north in 1896.
“The classic route marked the start of Hurtigruten’s expedition voyages more than 120 years ago. We are proud to offer modern adventurers a premium quality, modern version from the heart of Europe to the heart of the Arctic wilderness – with the unprecedented new hybrid vessel MS Fridtjof Nansen,” said Skjeldam.
Departing from Hamburg, the MS Roald Amundsen in Hamburg, this series of new voyages along the Norwegian coasts are variations of the traditional Hurtigruten coastal sailings, tailored for guests seeking the ultimate nature and culture experience – aboard a next-generation expedition ship.
As her hybrid sister MS Fridtjof Nansen, the MS Roald Amundsen offers great comfort, ground-breaking green technology, excursions, and the expert guidance of Hurtigruten expedition teams to all guests.
“The expedition team members are experienced expert lecturers and they are hosts on board and ashore. They will give guests professional lectures on topics like biology, history, geology and the eras of exploration, as well as take guests on landings and hikes,” said Skjeldam.
Hurtigruten’s 2019/2020 program also offers eight South American voyages with extended experiences at unique destinations such as the Galapagos Islands and the breath-taking Machu Picchu, included.
Hurtigruten is the world leader in exploration travel. The pioneering company with a history of nearly 125 years, offers expedition voyages from pole to pole. In the Arctic, the company offers nature-based expedition sailings to Norway; Greenland; Iceland; Spitsbergen; Alaska; and Arctic Canada. Further south, Hurtigruten operates both coasts of the US. In the southern hemisphere, Hurtigruten offers unprecedented experiences in Antarctica; and along both coasts of South America.