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Four Hurtigruten ships to gain 'new Arctic interior' look in $64m update

The Bistro - modern Scandinavian design (Rendering: GilliesZaiser/Hurtigruten)
All four of Hurtigruten's mid-1990s-built ships are scheduled to be upgraded in 2016 with new interiors and furnishings in modern Scandinavian design. Norway's Fosen won the business, worth more than 550m Norwegian kroner ($64m), in an international tender.

The four ships will be rotated through the shipyard with work expected to take a little over three weeks for each. Polarlys is scheduled for completion by Feb. 2, Kong Harald by Feb. 7, Nordkapp by April 19 and Nordnorge by Nov. 18.

In addition, the recently acquired Spitsbergen is undergoing a more major upgrade to fit in with the current fleet and will enter service in the spring.

'As we continue to reinvent the Hurtigruten experience by combining tradition, innovation and sustainability, our ship upgrades aim to ensure our position as an innovator and leading force in nature-based explorer travels in polar waters,' Hurtigruten ceo Daniel Skjeldam said.

Hurtigruten has dubbed the future look for these ships as 'new Arctic interior' that will reflect the Norwegian coastal landscapes in a stylish yet unpretentious manner.

All common areas, reception foyers, cafes and bistro areas and the aft deck will be renovated. The colors will be earthy and derived from the coast and the sea. Natural materials, such as wood, slate and leather, will be used. Designs and shapes are expected to resemble those found in nature such as the flow of the waves or the majesty of the fjords.

In addition, the ongoing transformation of the restaurants and the food served will continue. With more than 100,000 foreign travelers sailing annually, Hurtigruten has partnered with dozens of local food suppliers to develop the 'Coastal Kitchen' concept. This offers seasonal ingredients, often harvested the same day.

Fresh pastries from the ship’s own bakeries will be offered and barbecue stands are being added to the outside decks. The bar will be moved to the panoramic lounge. Plus, fitness rooms will offer views of the scenery.