Hurtigruten has announced a refurbishment programme that will see four of its coastal ships under-going a total makeover in 2016. The company is already undertaking a total refurbishment of the newly acquired MS Spitsbergen.
They have also announced plans to operate MS Spitbergen as an additional ship on the Norwegian coastal route next summer, before she officially takes the place of MS Midnatsol in autumn 2015.
“We are a first mover company and we are now reinventing the Hurtigruten experience. By combining tradition, innovation and sustainability, we aim to ensure the position as world leader in nature-based explorer travels in polar waters”, says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
FOUR COASTAL SHIPS GIVEN NEW ‘ARCTIC INTERIOR’
MS Polarlys will be the first ship to be refurbished in January 2016, during a 22 day programme of round the clock works. Upgrading of MS Kong Harald, MS Nordkapp and MS Nordnorge will follow.
The ships will be fitted with a modern Scandinavian interior, reflecting the coastal landscapes of the Arctic.
“The interior will reflect the breath-taking coastal landscapes we sail past. We have made it stylish and yet unpretentious. The colors are earthy and from the coast and the sea. Many of the materials are natural, such as wood, slate and leather” says Magnus Zetterberg, Managing Director of Hurtigruten UK.
All common areas of the ships will see changes with the reception areas, cafes, bistro areas and the aft deck all to be renovated.
One of the highlights of any Coastal voyage with Hurtigruten is the local Norwegian cuisine served in the restaurant, with menus changing every day to reflect the specialties of the area the ship is sailing through. The new, stylish restaurants with a modern Nordic feel will provide an ideal setting for the menus. A range of fresh pastries baked on board will be served and a new feature will be barbecue stands out on deck.
Facilities on MS Spitsbergen will be similar to those already offered across the fleet and she will offer suites with a private balcony and full length windows – offering passengers their own private space from which to watch the northern lights or midnight sun.
MS SPITSBERGEN TO OPERATE NEW ‘CRUISE’ CONCEPT FOR SUMMER 2016
Passengers will not have to wait long till they can enjoy the newest addition to the fleet, as it has been confirmed that her refurbishment will be completed in time for her to operate from 8 May.
For the first few months of operation, MS Spitsbergen will plot a parallel route alongside the MS Lofoten. However, while MS Lofoten will follow her regular schedule, MS Spitsbergen will not stop overnight, leaving her more time to spend in selected ports during the daylight hours. All of the regular excursions such as rib boat rides, whale watching, horse-riding and sea eagle safaris will all be on offer.
She will also be the latest ship to offer Hurtigruten’s new Coastal Expedition concept, with a lecture programme, regular hikes and expedition team on-board. The new product, which was announced earlier this year, will operate on three other coastal ships from 1 January 2016.
Prices for MS Spitsbergen will be the same as for the rest of the coastal fleet with the Classic Voyage North starting from £968 per person (for the 8 May departure, based on 2 sharing an inside cabin on full board basis). Flights are not included.
From September, MS Spitsbergen will take the place of MS Midnatsol, who is heading south to Antarctica for the winter season. At that point she will operate the traditional Hurtigruten schedule, as a working ship.
A 12 page brochure with details of her inaugural season has been produced to support the launch. An electronic version can be downloaded here:
The renovation work is being undertaken by the Norwegian Fosen Yard, who won the contract following an international tender process.
For more information contact your local Travel Agent, email Discover the World on [email protected] or call 1800 OCEANS (1800 623 267).