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Hurtigruten launches new Dover and Hamburg expedition cruises

Hurtigruten launches new Dover and Hamburg expedition cruises
Hurtigruten launches new Dover and Hamburg expedition cruises
Written by Harry S. Johnson

From 2021, the world’s largest expedition cruise line offers guests a new way to explore the Norwegian coast – with full-year departures directly from the UK, Germany and Norway.

Powered with biofuel and packed with green technology, three small, custom-built Hurtigruten expedition cruise ships will operate expedition voyages along the Norwegian coast – with year-round departures from Dover, Hamburg and Bergen starting from January 2021.

– We have seen an increasing demand for closer-to-home departures. We expect this to further increase in the wake of COVID-19. To give our guests even more flexibility, we have decided to expand our offering with year-round expedition cruise programs from both UK, Germany and Norway, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

Handcrafted by local experts

Operating the Norwegian coast continuously since 1893, Hurtigruten has longer and more in-depth experience on the spectacular Norwegian coastline than any other cruise lines. Hurtigruten is also the only operator to offer year-round cruises on the Norwegian coast.

The new itineraries are handcrafted by Hurtigruten experts, with flexibility in mind. Offering more time in port for more in-depth experiences, the itineraries change with the seasons to take best advantage of the unique experiences offered in different times of year, either under the Midnight Sun in the seemingly eternal summer days, or below the colourful Northern Lights on dark polar nights.

– We put a lot of pride into handpicking the destinations and crafting the itineraries. We wanted to make sure guests can enjoy Norway like never before, to go deep into fjords, enjoy remote nature, see amazing wildlife and charming coastal cities, towns and villages while avoiding the mass tourism crowds, Skjeldam says.

Directly from Hamburg, Dover and Bergen

From Hamburg, the fully upgraded MS Otto Sverdrup (current MS Finnmarken), will take guests on two different summer- and winter itineraries to the North Cape and back. Maximizing time above the Arctic circle during the winter means guests can enjoy spectacular Northern Lights, while tender pits and small boats means guests can explore off-the-beaten track destinations year-round – in addition to favorites such as Lofoten and Norwegian fjords.

From Dover, MS Maud (current MS Midnatsol) will offer guests a special winter itinerary, maximizing time above the Arctic circle to enjoy spectacular northern lights – including an overnight stay in Tromsø. During the summer months, Hurtigruten’s Norway expedition cruises will take guests to North Cape and back, exploring fjords, mountains and the Lofoten Islands. In addition, Hurtigruten offers two brand new summer itineraries from Dover: One exploring the British Isles, the other to off-the-beaten-track destinations in Southern Scandinavia.

From Bergen, Hurtigruten will offer year-round departures with MS Trollfjord, one of the most popular ships in Hurtigruten’s fleet. Sailing directly from the fjord capital of Bergen, MS Trollfjord will maximize the time spent exploring the Norwegian coastline to North Cape and back, including off-the-beaten-track destinations such as Reine in Lofoten, Fjærland and Træna.

Small ships – big adventures

With little over 500 guests, MS Otto Sverdrup, MS Maud and MS Trollfjord offers a unique, small-ship experience and authentic, intimate and more up-close adventures on the Norwegian coast.

Originally built for the legendary Bergen to Kirkenes route, all three ships will see major changes before entering their new expedition cruise service.

Hurtigruten’s three expedition cruise restaurant concepts will be introduced – Aune, the main restaurant; Fredheim, for casual international dining; and Lindstrøm, an exclusive fine dining restaurant. Each serving cuisine with character and sustainable and locally sourced ingredients.

The brand-new Science Center is the beating heart of all Hurtigruten expeditions. It is complete with literature about the nature and culture on the coast and with technology such as touch screens and microscopes. This will become guests base to informally learn from the Expedition Team on topics ranging from geology to ornithology, history, Northern Lights and the natural sciences.

MS Maud and MS Otto Sverdrup will be fully upgraded with new cabins and suites. Natural Scandinavian materials like wool, pine, birch, oak, and granite seamlessly bring the great outdoors inside. The redesign aims to create a relaxed and stylish look and feel and add to the premium on-board experience among the like-minded guests.

More sustainable expeditions – powered with biofuel

Hurtigruten is constantly pushing green boundaries and aim to become completely emission free. As the first cruise line in the world, Hurtigruten is now permanently introducing biodiesel as fuel on several ships – including MS Maud, MS Otto Sverdrup and MS Trollfjord.

Biodiesel reduces emissions by up to 80 per cent compared to regular marine diesel. Hurtigruten’s environmentally certified biodiesel is produced from waste from industries such as fisheries and agriculture – which means no palm oil is used in the biofuel production and no negative impacts on the rainforests. Biodiesel will be used in combination with other low-emission fuel sources.

– At Hurtigruten, the push for sustainable solutions and introduction of green technology is the core of everything we do. We operate in some of the most spectacular areas of the world. This comes with a responsibility, Skjeldam says.

Explore with the locals

As the rest of the Hurtigruten fleet, single-use plastic is banned on MS Maud, MS Otto Sverdrup and MS Trollfjord. The three ships are all equipped for shore power, eliminating emissions when docked in ports with shore power facilities.

Operating on the Norwegian coast for 127 years, Hurtigruten has built close ties to local communities, and food, activities and services are sourced locally. More than a century of local experience and know-how ensures they leave behind nothing but local value and long-lasting memories.

– We are thrilled to fuse sustainable activities, nature and culture into exceptional adventure bundles at less explored locations. En route, our expedition teams give lectures on their respective fields of expertise and explain and discuss the guests’ interesting experiences on shore and on the ship, says Skjeldam.


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About the author

Harry S. Johnson

Harry S. Johnson has been working in the travel industry for 20 years. He started his travel career as a flight attendant for Alitalia, and today, has been working for TravelNewsGroup as an editor for the last 8 years. Harry is an avid globetrotting traveler.