Hurtigruten Expeditions returns to Antarctica with the battery-hybrid-powered MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fram. Starting in November and December, both ships will once again bring guests to explore Antarctica, departing from Punta Arenas, Chile.
Due to the travel restrictions, the third ship planned for Antarctica, the newly named battery-hybrid-powered MS Fridtjof Nansen, will instead be offering expedition cruises to the coast of Norway from Hamburg, Germany. She will complement the refurbished battery-hybrid-powered MS Otto Sverdrup, as most of her sailings are sold out for the first quarter of 2022.
Affected guests have been contacted with rebooking options.
“Preparing for a 2-ship Antarctica season this fall marks a remarkable turning point for us. With MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fram sailing out of Punta Arenas, and MS Fridtjof Nansen offering in-demand expedition cruises in Europe, we are back with all our planned expedition fleet activities at the start of the new year. Knowing that also all Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express ships are back in schedule, and that all hotels and on-land offers will be open to guests again, we look optimistically and enthusiastically at the adventure travel year of 2022,” said Hurtigruten Group CEO Daniel Skjeldam, in a press release statement.
Upcoming schedule includes:
- MS Roald Amundsen to sail her first Antarctica expedition cruise out of Punta Arenas on Nov. 25.
- MS Fram, originally scheduled to depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, to kick off her 2021/22 Antarctica season from Punta Arenas, on Dec. 14.
- MS Fridtjof Nansen, initially scheduled for Antarctica 2021/22, to have her first departure from Hamburg in January 2022.
All guests and crewmembers for all Antarctica expedition cruises will be vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency.
“Returning to Antarctica is something we’ve been dreaming of and preparing for a very long time now. We are thrilled to again offer our guests safe and sustainable, life changing Antarctic adventures,” said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen, in a press release statement.
MS Roald Amundsen’s first departure will be a Solar Eclipse sailing. The ship will bring guests to the Scotia Sea near the South Orkney Islands, a group of four islands almost 400 miles northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula, supposedly the best place to experience the eclipse. As this region’s next solar eclipse phenomenon will not occur for about 400 years, it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“Watching a solar eclipse from the deck of an expedition ship sailing between icebergs off the coast of the South Pole continent, may very well be the closest you get to the feeling of being on another planet,” said Lassesen.
Streamlined Chile Logistics
Hurtigruten Expeditions has been operating expedition cruises out of Chile since the early 2000s.
“Twenty years of experience operating under the umbrella of Chilean authorities and with highly professional local partners gives us the confidence to lock in on a combination of Santiago de Chile and Punta Arenas as our gateway for Antarctica for the upcoming season,” said Lassesen.
Hurtigruten Expeditions will fly guests arriving to Santiago de Chile to Punta Arenas by domestic charter flights.
Both on-land and at-sea logistics will follow strict protocols.
“Already strong and solid infrastructures have been further improved and the service level is upped to an impressive standard. This goes to prove our Chilean counterparts share our absolute commitment to safety and the safeguarding of the health of our guests, crew and partners,“ said Lassesen.
German Norway Success
This fall, Hurtigruten Expeditions started offering expedition cruises from Hamburg to Norway. The voyages with the newly upgraded hybrid expedition ship MS Otto Sverdrup are the first year-round expedition cruises from Germany.
With all sailings for the first quarter of 2022 being sold out, Hurtigruten Expeditions has chosen to deploy the battery-hybrid MS Fridtjof Nansen on parallel sailings out of Hamburg from January next year.
“The booking numbers and the magnificent feedback we receive from the guests that have sailed with MS Otto Sverdrup thus far, proves this is a very attractive offering. We have therefore decided to offer even more homeporting from Hamburg for expedition cruises to Norway,” said Lassesen.
MS Fridtjof Nansen was recently named at latitude 78˚ North in Longyearbyen, Svalbard in what was the world’s northernmost naming of a passenger ship ever.
The godmothers of the ship, environmental advocates Hilde Falun Strom and Sunniva Sorby from the Hearts in the Ice project, will be on board MS Fridtjof Nansen on one of the new Hamburg expedition cruises to Norway.
For more information, visit hurtigruten.com.
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