Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Hurtigruten to convert three ships for battery power, premium expedition cruising

finnmarken off svolvar
Finnmarken, shown here off Svolvar, will be named Otto Sverdrup for the Norwegian polar hero. Between expeditions, he was a Hurtigruten captain PHOTO: Agurtxane Concellon
Through giant makeovers, three Hurtigruten vessels will be transformed into premium, hybrid-powered expedition cruise ships.

The current Trollfjord, Finnmarken and Midnatsol will be renamed Maud, Otto Sverdrup and Eirik Raude.

Equipped with battery packs and other green technology, the three ships will operate year-round expedition cruises along the Norwegian coast starting in 2021, on itineraries to be disclosed.

This summer Hurtigruten introduced the world’s first hybrid powered cruise ship, Roald Amundsen.

'With these new expedition cruise vessels, you will be able to explore Norway like never before, with all the comforts, facilities and expertise you need for creating a perfect adventure. Combined with groundbreaking green technology, these ships will truly stand out,' Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said.

Battery packs and green tech

Otto Sverdrup will have battery packs installed during a 2020 yard stay, with a letter of intent for the same battery installation on Maud and Eirik Raude in 2021. The battery packs will support the ships' engines, and drastically cut emissions.

The three ships will also be equipped for shore power when docked at ports with shore power facilities.

In addition, the trio will get substantially upgraded low-emission engines, complying with all known and upcoming regulations (Tier 3).

Largest upgrades in company history

Through the three single largest upgrade projects in Hurtigruten’s more than 125 years of history, the ships will be transformed into premium expedition cruise ships, carrying a maximum of 530 passengers.

Using natural Scandinavian materials such as granite, oak, birch and wool, all public areas on Maud, Otto Sverdrup and Eirik Raude will be redesigned to create a relaxed and stylish look and feel.

A specially designed expedition launch area will be added, with tender boats and other expedition equipment.

All cabins and suites will be completely refurbished, and new suites affording spectacular views will be added.

Hurtigruten’s signature Science Center will be installed. Packed with technology and high-tech gadgets such as touch screens, science equipment and other interactive features, this area is also the on-board headquarters for the ship’s expedition team.

A brand new wellness-area, complete with gym, lounge and treatment rooms, will be built. The pool area (Otto Sverdrup) and outdoor hot tub areas (Maud and Eirik Raude) will be fully upgraded.

The ships’ extensive art collections will be preserved.

New dining spots

The main restaurants will be transformed into Restaurant Aune, the line's new expedition cruise main restaurant concept. Aune will be decorated in natural elements for a social, informal ambiance. It will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner based on a Scandinavian identity.

Restaurant Lindstrøm, a specialty venue named after the favorite chef of the Norwegian polar heroes, will be an upper premium fine dining restaurant with strong roots in traditional Norwegian cooking that are contrasted with modern cuisine.

The informal eatery Fredheim, named after a legendary 1920s hunting station in Svalbard that sheltered adventurers from around the world, rounds out the three new restaurants. Plus, a new outdoor grill venue will be positioned on the top ships' top deck.

Significance of the new names

Maud (currently Trollfjord) is named after one of the most famous polar vessels of all time, Roald Amundsen's Maud from 1917. The original Maud got its name from the first queen of modern-day Norway, who also had her namesake in Hurtigruten’s 1925 flagship Dronning Maud (Queen Maud).

Otto Sverdrup (Finnmarken) is named after one of Norway’s polar heroes. Alongside Fridtjof Nansen, he was the first to ski across Greenland, a key contributor to several expeditions and captain on the legendary polar ship Fram. Sverdrup also has a close connection to Hurtigruten: Between expeditions he was a captain aboard Hurtigruten ships.

Eirik Raude (Midnatsol) is named after one of history's most famous Viking chiefs. Eirik Raude (Eric the Red) got his name from his huge red beard. He was the first Viking to reach Greenland and gave the island its name.