Hurtigruten veteran is named master of Roald Amundsen

Capt. Kai Albrigtsen - 37 years with Hurtigruten Capt. Kai Albrigtsen - 37 years with Hurtigruten Photo: Maximilian Schwartz/Hurtigruten

When Hurtigruten’s hybrid electric powered Roald Amundsen begins sailing in 2019, it is not only the ship itself that will make history. Capt. Kai Albrigtsen will become the first master of a cruise vessel that's able to sail for short stints on silent, emission-free battery power.

'It is a great honor and a big responsibility. Taking command of such a unique vessel is without a doubt the highlight of my career,' he said.

Extensive polar experience

Albrigtsen, 54, began his career as a Hurtigruten galley assistant at age 17. He has served in numerous positions on more than 10 of the company's vessels. His first expedition to Antarctica was in 2003, and he rose to the rank of captain in 2006.

For the past two years, Albrigtsen has commanded Midnatsol.

'During my 37 years at Hurtigruten, I have faced challenges and gained unique experiences. But most of all, working for Hurtigruten is an adventure where I have been looking forward to every day, in every position I have held. No two days at “the office” are the same,' Albrigtsen said.

Roald Amundsen is currently under construction at Norway's Kleven Verft, along with sister ship Fridtjof Nansen, coming in 2020. A third hybrid powered expedition cruise ship has been ordered for delivery in 2021.

Minimized footprint

The 500-passenger Roald Amundsen is scheduled to explore Antarctica, the Arctic, the Northwest Passage and Alaska.

'The latest technology is offering many opportunities. Hurtigruten is setting a new standard for the whole cruise industry,' Albrigtsen said. 'I am really proud to be a part of Hurtigruten’s unparalleled sustainable operations. With the introduction of MS Roald Amundsen, we show the world what’s possible.'

Posted 17 December 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review