Your clients can sail to nature-infused destinations from Antarctica to Alaska on board Hurtigruten’s newest ship, MS Roald Amundsen, the world’s first hybrid-powered expedition ship. At the forefront of educational and expedition-style sailing experiences, the ship exudes innovation, sustainability, and premium comfort style.
We recently spent a night on board the 265-cabin ship, and loved the minimalist, modern and inviting Scandinavian design. Adding to the modern decor are floor-to-ceiling windows in public spaces such as the Explorer Lounge and restaurants, as well as the cabins—half offering balconies—that invite the stunning passing scenery in. Our outside cabin featured a comfy queen bed with a thick comforter, plush pillows and a special wool blanket at the foot of the bed made of the same material used to keep Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (ship’s namesake) warm while exploring both Polar regions—he was the first to reach the South Pole. The cabins also have a seating area, with flat-screen wall-mounted TVs, plus a desk and serene ambient lighting.
Add on the array of sustainability initiatives Hurtigruten is undertaking and there’s no doubt the cruise line is a leader in the green movement. According to CEO Daniel Skjeldam, the MS Roald Amundsen opens a new chapter in maritime history with battery packs that provide electric propulsion, reducing fuel emissions by 20 percent.
Skjeldam has also chosen not to have helicopters on board the new ship nor future hybrids because of the noise pollution. Rather, the ship features gadgets like underwater drones and high-resolution Panamex cameras to capture images of sea life and wildlife that are then transmitted throughout the ship, including on in-cabin TVs. Another innovation is the Science Center, the first of its kind on a cruise ship, even an expedition ship. It’s here
your clients can take part in Citizen Science experiments alongside research scientists, viewing collections from water samples captured during the sailings, among other things.
“Our customers are educated and appreciate sustainability efforts and undiscovered destinations,” says Storm Tussey-Haverly, v.p. of marketing for Hurtigruten. “And as they have an education focus during their travel, they appreciate being 100 percent immersed into the ecosystem they are in.”
Food, Art & Fun
The fresh, local and sustainable culinary offerings on board, says Skjeldam, is something the line is quite proud of. “We work with local suppliers along the way purchasing items such as fish and lamb from Chile and Argentina on the way to Antarctica”. In Vancouver, where we boarded the ship, for instance, we had fresh halibut beautifully prepared and served in Aune, which serves Norwegian cuisine and is the main dining restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s also the specialty dining restaurant Lindstrom, available for an upcharge but complimentary to clients who book suite accommodations, and a third restaurant, Fredheim, serving international cuisine.
Your clients will appreciate that the custom-built landing craft are boarded at water level, making the boarding process to go ashore safe and easy.
Hurtigruten’s 125-plus-year history in expedition cruising has allowed them to gather a staff of experts in topics that range from geology, marine biology, and oceanography to ornithology, thus providing shore excursions that not only bring guests closer to the wildlife and natural surroundings, but are infused with top-rated knowledge.
Throughout the ship, passengers will also enjoy art that is handpicked by Queen Sonja of Norway. The artwork promotes young artists from around the world, as well as her own artwork, which is on view in Lindstrom. Your clients will also appreciate the ship’s wellness areas, which include a fitness track on the top deck, an infinity pool with two hot tubs, a spa and a gym.
The MS Roald Amundsen is an ideal choice for clients who want the luxury of an authentic and immersive experience, says Tussey-Haverly, and “we don’t want to compete with Mother Nature, she is the best artist in the world.” Next year, the ship will spend the entire summer in Alaska, says Skjeldam, “with great food, activities, and sailing to places that other larger ships cannot go…small unique places,” adding that “we offer unique experiences all over the world.”
What’s In it For Travel Advisors
Hurtigruten is running the Amundsun Promotion contest for travel advisors, offering a free 2020 cruise for an agent and guest—to enter, travel advisors need to have one qualified booking by Dec. 31, 2019, with winner selected at random on Jan. 15, 2020.
Additionally, a redesigned advisor portal will be completed in mid-January 2020—hurtigrutenagents.com—offering training and resources, with consistent updates throughout the year.