Award-winning explorer cruise line Hurtigruten has been upgrading four of its 11 Norwegian coastal ships after a successful financial turnaround over the recent years.
The extensive refurbishment of the MS Kong Harald and MS Polarlys has been completed, and both ships are receiving rave reviews from their guests. The makeovers of the MS Nordkapp and MS Nordnorge will be completed in April and November, respectively.
Hurtingruten is also adding its first new expedition ship in 10 years, the MS Spitsbergen, which will be completed in May.
“We are a first mover company, and we are now reinventing the Hurtigruten experience,” says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. “By combining tradition, innovation and sustainability, we aim to ensure the position as world leader in nature-based explorer travels in polar waters.”
The new look, aptly named the “New Artic Interior,” includes the replacement of the cruise interior and furnishings typical of the nineties with a modern Scandinavian interior, drawing inspiration from the spectacular nature outside the panoramic windows.
The new design entails a stylish and yet unpretentious feel and affects all of the ship’s common areas — reception foyers, cafes and bistro areas and the aft deck. The colors will be earthy and derived from the coast and the sea, while making use of many natural materials, such as wood, slate and leather. Designs and shapes are expected to bear a resemblance to those found in nature – such as the flow of the waves or the strength of the majestic fjords.
Of equal importance is the ongoing transformation of the restaurants. With more than 100,000 foreign guests sailing annually, Hurtigruten has partnered with dozens of local food suppliers to develop the Coastal Kitchen concept. With seasonal ingredients, often harvested the same day, guests are able to enjoy the freshest and best Norwegian food available.
Refurbished MS Polarlys
A range of fresh pastries from the ship’s own bakeries will be offered and barbeque stands are being added to the outside decks. The bar will be moved to the panoramic lounge, offering incredible views as guests enjoy an afternoon or evening cocktail. And fitness rooms will now have the world’s best views.
In addition, Hurtigruten has purchased and is doing a near-complete reconstruction of the MS Spitsbergen. She was built in Portugal in 2009 at the Viana do Castelo shipyard and is now undergoing adaptation for polar waters; upgrading the cabins, suites, and public spaces for the 320 guests; and adjusting the power plants and emissions so as to meet Hurtigruten’s high standards. The ship will join the fleet along the Norwegian Coastal Voyage route later this spring and replaces the MS Midnatsol, which will join the MS Fram in Antarctica for the 2016/17 season.
Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition voyages, sailing to the most remote of destinations, including Antarctica, Greenland. and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen, as well as year-round along Norway’s coast and to Europe in the spring and fall.
The company’s fleet of 14 intimate ships, which each carry 100 to 646 guests, allows travelers to enjoy the scenery and culture of the destination in a relaxed atmosphere. For more information on Hurtigruten visit them as www.hurtigruten.us