Hurtigruten Expeditions adds third battery hybrid powered ship as expedition cruising resumes

MS Otto Sverdrup (Ex Finnmarken - Hurtigruten)Hurtigruten Expeditions continues to push boundaries for green travel: as expedition cruising restarts it introduces the expedition cruise line’s third battery-hybrid powered ship – “MS Otto Sverdrup”.

With MS Otto Sverdrup departing Hamburg, Germany, on her maiden voyage on August 24, three major milestones are marked:

● Introduction of Hurtigruten Expeditions’ third battery-hybrid powered cruise ship;
● Introduction of the first year-round expedition cruises from Germany, with Hurtigruten Expeditions offering departures directly from Hamburg to the Norwegian coast; and
● Return of expedition cruises after more than a year of pandemic pause.

“We are thrilled to finally be back exploring with our guests. This is a day we have all been really looking forward to after a very challenging year for the entire travel industry,” said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen.

Since the very first expedition cruise in 1896, Hurtigruten Expeditions has grown into the world’s largest expedition cruise line. The growing fleet of smaller, more sustainable expedition cruise ships takes guests exploring more than 250 destinations across some of the most spectacular waters of the planet – including Antarctica, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard, British Isles, West Africa, and the Galapagos.

More sustainable exploration

Equipped with battery backs and other green technology, MS Otto Sverdrup will operate year-round expedition cruises from Hamburg to the Norwegian coast. This means that Hurtigruten Expeditions – which introduced the world’s first battery-hybrid powered cruise ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen – will add another hybrid powered ship to a growing fleet of smaller, more sustainable expedition cruise ships.

“We saw the travel industry’s global pause as a golden opportunity to invest, upgrade and improve our ships and product. As we return to cruising, MS Otto Sverdrup will feature a combination of advanced green technology, including new battery packs, that will ensure an even more sustainable way of exploring the Norwegian coast,” said Lassesen.

Step-by-step return

Following a complete upgrade and transfer to Hurtigruten Expeditions, MS Otto Sverdrup’s maiden voyage from Germany will be the first sailing in the step-by-step restart of operations.

Late September, MS Maud will start the first ever year-round UK-based expedition cruises. In addition to the closer-to-home departures from Hamburg and Dover, Hurtigruten Expeditions 2022/2023 winter program also includes Antarctica, West Africa, Alaska, and from January 2022, the Galapagos Islands.

“Our guests have been extremely patient, and I know they are as excited as we are. As we return to operations, the safety of our guests, crew and the communities we explore is our number one priority. Our stringent health and safety protocols, including our vaccination policy for all guests and crew, will ensure that everyone feels safe, protected and comfortable onboard without limiting experience,” said Lassesen.

Strong and growing demand – new destinations

Hurtigruten Expeditions recently launched expedition cruises to West Africa, including Bissagos Islands and Cape Verde, as well as unique ways to explore both the Canary Islands from 2022.

Expedition cruises to Galapagos Islands has also been introduced as part of Hurtigruten Expeditions global offering.

“We see a huge pent-up demand for travel, with substantial and growing demand for authentic adventure travel. We expect to see this trend to strengthen, as we continue to expand our global offering with even more unique and more sustainable experiences,” said Lassesen.

(Hurtigruten Expeditions)