Popular adventure cruise line Hurtigruten Expeditions reached a new milestone today as their third battery-hybrid powered cruise ship, MS Otto Sverdrup, embarked on its maiden voyage from Hamburg, Germany. The voyage marks the cruise line’s first year-round expedition cruises from Germany, with Hurtigruten Expeditions offering departures directly from Hamburg to the Norwegian coast. The sailing also marks Hurtigruten’s return to expedition cruising and the first in a step-by-step return to full operation for the cruise line.
Formerly known as MS Finnmarken, the ship underwent a complete upgrade to hybrid technology during Hurtigruten’s pause in operation. The ship is named for Otto Sverdrup, a Norwegian sailor and Arctic explorer best known for his journeys to Greenland and the Canadian arctic in the late 1800s.
“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. “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.”
Hurtigruten operates two other battery-powered hybrid cruise ships – MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen. The cruise line was the first to feature ships powered by both traditional fossil fuels and batteries.
“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. “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.”
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