Hurtigruten Makes History with First-Ever Cruise Ship Naming in Antarctica

MS Roald Amundsen
Hurtigruten Makes History with First-Ever Cruise Ship Naming in Antarctica

The world’s first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship and newest member of the Hurtigruten fleet, MS Roald Amundsen, was officially named today by polar pioneer and godmother Karin Strand in Chiriguano Bay on Brabant Island, Antarctica during a historic ceremony honoring the legacy of polar hero Roald Amundsen.

Replacing the traditional bottle of champagne with a chunk of ice, Strand revived a ritual invented by the ship’s famous namesake, smashing ice against the bow of the ship in celebration of the momentous occasion.

“We could not think of a better location than Antarctica to name MS Roald Amundsen,” said Daniel Skjeldam, chief executive officer of Hurtigruten. “I believe Roald Amundsen would be proud. With the ship carrying his name and legacy, Hurtigruten is redefining boundaries, challenging the industry, and continuing to push toward greener and more sustainable operations. As Roald Amundsen was the symbol of a new era of exploration, this ship is the symbol of a new era in the cruise industry.”

Added Strand, “I am truly honored to share in such a historical moment as this, with like-minded explorers and colleagues, all dedicated to navigating our oceans in a more sustainable way.”

In recognition of this momentous occasion, a donation has been made to the Hurtigruten Foundation to further support conservation efforts in the more than 200 destinations Hurtigruten ships visit around the world.

Hurtigruten, the world’s largest and leading expedition cruise line, specially designed MS Roald Amundsen for exploring some of the most spectacular waters in the world. Equipped with groundbreaking green technology, MS Roald Amundsen uses large battery packs to support her low-emission engines, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 20 percent.

MS Roald Amundsen made history this summer as the first cruise ship to sail on battery power, and became the first hybrid electric-powered ship to traverse the legendary Northwest Passage. After completing the 2019-20 Antarctica season, she will spend the 2020 summer season in Alaska. A second hybrid electric-powered expedition ship, MS Fridtjof Nansen, will join the fleet in 2020.