I had been looking forward to this day for quite a while. As we drew closer, I could feel myself being drawn in, almost mesmerised, she was so beautiful. She was truly striking, colourful and sleek; I just knew this was going to be a real treat.
Welcome onboard the latest addition to the growing Hurtigruten fleet – MS Fridtjof Nansen.
All About Hurtigruten
Hurtigruten started out in Norway as a local transportation company back in 1893. Transporting passengers and goods between the furthermost reaches of the remote northernmost towns and cities.
With a proud sailing tradition spanning back over 125 years, Hurtigruten today operates a fleet of custom-built expedition cruise ships, exploring over 200 destinations in 30 countries worldwide.
Hurtigruten offer a wide variety of awesome travel experiences to some to the most remote regions of the planet. They are well-known for their awesome cruise adventures to the Norwegian Fjords, the north and south pole and their renowned Northern lights experiences.
New Generation Cruise Explorer Ships
Hurtigruten has embraced the need to change to a greener fleet by launching the world’s first hybrid powered cruise ships. The MS Roald Amundsen took to the sea in 2019 and the sister ship MS Fridtjof Nansen, which we have just stepped onboard, in 2020.
These two, new-age expedition ships, identical in size and layout, are making ‘waves’ in the cruise industry. Each ship carries just 530 guests, who are looked after by a dedicated crew of around 150. Designed to create an unforgettable experience on the world’s ‘sexiest’ expedition cruise ships.
The ships are named after two of the greatest heroes in Polar history; Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen. These new hybrid powered expedition ships combine state of the art technology and a premium on board experience, with Hurtigruten’s 125 years of sailing experience.
These two custom built expedition ships are the next generation of adventure travel. They will carry guests to some of the most awesome destinations on the planet, offering an opportunity to enjoy and learn about these fascinating regions from a team of experts onboard leading expeditions and immersing you in the natural world.
Sustainable Ocean Travel
The cruise industries rapid growth in popularity has not been without criticism in recent years. From environmental concerns regarding pollution, the impact on the ocean’s wildlife, to the crowding of port cities, where some of these mega ships dock.
There is a growing call for the industry to do more to clean up its act. This challenge was met by Hurtigruten who have recently launched the world’s first two hybrid powered cruise ships: MS Roald Amundsen and the sister ship MS Fridtjof Nansen.
The ships hybrid-technology and other efficiency improvements will reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by approximately 20%. This amounts to more than 3000 metric tons of CO2 per year.
It seems that the environment is finally starting to take centre stage in the fight against climate change. The recent lockdown due to Covid-19 has given the planet a chance to breathe and us a moment to reflect and hopefully we will recognise the warning that change is needed.
These two Norwegian ‘beauties’ introduce the next generation of adventure travel. Arguably this is a first step to hopefully leading the way to ‘greener’ cruising. These state-of-the-art explorer ships represent the way forward.
Who was Fridtjof Nansen?
The ship proudly carries the name of the great explorer Fridtjof Nansen.
Fridtjof Nansen was a Norwegian explorer, scientist, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate renowned for his innovations in Arctic expeditions. In 1893, Fridtjof Nansen led an attempt to reach the geographical North Pole during the Fram Expedition (1893-1896).
Interestingly, after Nansen’s Fram expedition, the ship was passed on to another great explorer who secretly planned an expedition to the South Pole – Roald Amundsen. Whose name is proudly carried by the sister ship to Fridtjof Nansen.
Onboard Fridtjof Nansen
Onboard, the first thing that blew my mind were, believe it or not, the lifts. I know that sounds odd. However, with the tallest digital screen at sea, visible through the glass lifts as the backdrop, you are mesmerised by the display as you move between the floors, its simply breath-taking.
But that was the taster for what was to come, and this ship does not disappoint in any way. This ship incorporates a distinctive stylish Scandinavian design, the décor and interior design is welcoming and relaxing. The designers have utilised materials from nature, such as granite, oak, birch, and wool to create relaxed and stylish cabins and public areas.
The Cabins onboard Fridtjof Nansen
Accommodation onboard this awesome cruise ship offers a selection to meet to your budget. All cabins and suites offer a generous amount of space and they provide all the conveniences to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable cruise holiday.
There are no inside cabins and 50% of the cabins offer private balconies. Some suites feature private outdoor hot tubs offering spectacular views. The cabins and suites available in MS Fridtjof Nansen include:
Polar Outside cabins
The Polar Outside cabins are primarily on the middle decks with windows, most are spacious, have flexible sleeping arrangements and TV for excellent and high standard accommodation. These cabins can accommodate two to four passengers.
Arctic Superior Cabins
The Arctic Superior class cabins provide comfortable and roomy accommodation and most cabins have balconies. Flexible sleeping arrangements, sofa beds, TV and other features make this one of the more popular cabin categories. These cabins can accommodate two to four passengers.
These large suites are well-appointed with expansive windows and most have balconies. Some have an awesome private outdoor hot tub. The suites feature flexible sleeping arrangements with comfortable sofas, sitting areas and TV. They can accommodate up to four people.
Expedition suites are exclusively in upper and mid-deck locations. The Expedition Suite concept includes a bathrobe, espresso maker, and more. An exciting welcome gift awaits all suite guests in your cabin.
Dining onboard Fridtjof Nansen
Onboard the Fridtjof Nansen you have a choice of three restaurants inspired by Nordic and Norwegian heritage, while bringing in local cuisine to compliment the various destinations.
Aune Dining Room
The main Aune dining room is named after the Norwegian ship chandler and polar expedition supplier Tinus Aune.
The restaurant offers a choice of varied seating arrangements, accommodating couples and groups. The restaurants large picturesque windows bring the awesome scenery into the room, it really is a stunning setting.
There is a broad selection of foods to satisfy most palates offered on a buffet style. The food is truly delicious, offering a large choice to suit all tastes.
Lindstrøm Speciality Dining
For those guests fortunate enough to reserve a suite, they have the privilege of dining in the Lindstrøm restaurant. This speciality restaurant is named after Adolf Lindstrøm, the favourite chef of the Norwegian polar heroes.
However, guests can reserve a table for dinner, it is advisable to book your table as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. There is a supplement during dinner, subject to availability
Lounging onboard Fridtjof Nansen
Fredheim is the ships’ informal and social meeting place, named after a 1900s hunting station on Svalbard. Large picturesque windows provide glorious vistas while you enjoy a selection of light meals and snacks from the menu or a drink from the bar.
The Explorers Lounge
The entrance is dominated by the long elegant fire place that runs down towards one of the large digital screens. Contemporary, high tech and slick the Explorers lounge is a truly awesome space to relax, unwind and share stories from your day’s adventures with fellow passengers.
In addition to vast indoor and outdoor Observation Decks, guests can enjoy the scenery and drinks through the large panoramic windows on the forward-facing Explorer Lounge on deck 10.
At the back of the ship there are 2 Jacuzzis, a pool and bar to enjoy a refreshment or snack.
Observation Deck onboard Fridtjof Nansen
This is the place to be to catch the action as the ship sails into its destination. The two-storey deck, the lower enclosed, at the bow of the ship offers panoramic vistas as the drama unfolds in front of you, enjoy the awesome scenery as you cruise past. But it’s behind the observation deck, you’ll find the heart of the onboard experience, The Nansen Science Centre.
The Nansen Science Centre
Its undeniably the Nansen Science Centre that is the beating heart of this modern cruise ship. Joining the cruise are a selection of experts which may include ornithologists, biologists, geologists, and others who are sharing their research, knowledge and experiences, bringing these remote destinations to life.
Packed with state-of-the-art technology and high-tech gadgets such as touch screens and science equipment, the immersive ‘edutainment’ area is the place where passengers and crew meet and share a deeper understanding of the destinations and the natural world.
This flexible venue offers lecture spaces, a small library, and speciality areas for workshops in photography, biology, and more. The area, featuring large windows, also acts as the onboard HQ for Hurtigruten’s, hand-picked Expedition Team.
Cruising on Fridtjof Nansen is all about the destination and learning about the natural world around you.
Technology onboard Fridtjof Nansen
The most intriguing gadget on display was the underwater drone which is launched on location and feeds back live pictures from the ocean below. You can watch leopard seas, penguins and other wildlife in real time displayed on the screens around the ship, yes including, the digital wall in lift foyer.
Enjoy lectures and the opportunity to use microscopes to better understand the environment. There are reference books, maps and other aids to help you learn more about your environment and destination.
Expedition Launch on Fridtjof Nansen
Embarking on one of these awesome cruises affords you the opportunity to experience the location and explore these remote wilderness areas. There is an expedition launch area where you attend the required expedition briefing and safety briefing. All the kit is supplied on board.
The expedition voyages are led by a hand-picked team of specialists and modern-day explorers. Highly experienced, passionate, and knowledgeable, the Expedition Team are your guides and guardians on your voyage of exploration, instructing you on safety, sustainability, and science.
The MS Fridtjof Nansen features a variety of custom-built expedition equipment, including kayaks, a fleet of Blueye underwater drones and Expedition Boats for safe landings in remote areas.
And then it’s time to head out to a new world, the door out of the Expedition launch leads to the side of the ship where inflatable boats take you ashore.
Keeping Fit onboard Fridtjof Nansen
With all the good food on-board, the gym offers a chance to keep the body in shape with a variety of different machines and weights for a work out.
Simply the Best Sauna at Sea
This sauna on board MS Fridtjof Nansen must have one the best views from a sauna in world. What a surreal feeling, sweating in the sauna watching the icy landscapes sail by, it is so awesome.
Beauty onboard Fridtjof Nansen
Off course there is time to pamper yourself on-board the Fridtjof Nansen. The beauty salon offers a variety of treatments and services to make you feel and look even better while at sea.
Awesome Destinations onboard Fridtjof Nansen
MS Fridtjof Nansen will explore some of the most spectacular and remote places on Earth and together with her sister ship, MS Roald Amundsen there are a selection of exciting cruises to choose from. Together they are the first hybrid expedition ships to operate in the polar regions.
From the Antarctic, to the Artic and everything in between. Explore the Norwegian fjords or cut through the Northwest passage from Halifax to Vancouver. Explore Iceland, Greenland and Svalbard. Cruising closer to home, take in our history with a cruise of the British Isles and the Faroe Islands.
Sail in the wake of the great explorers to experience the Chilean fjords, the Falklands and majestic Antarctica in one extraordinary expedition cruise. Enjoy chances to see wildlife like penguins, whales and seals amidst icebergs and stunning natural beauty.
Pre and Post Itineraries for Fridtjof Nansen
Its all about designing a trip that encompass and fulfils your dreams. Connect with your inner explorer and let us help you design an Awesome Travel Experience, tailor-made to include pre and post cruise itineraries.
Being in the travel business you get to see awesome destinations, hotels, sights, attractions, and cruise ships. This new generation of expedition cruise ships was something that really excited me. It truly offers a holiday experience of a lifetime.
These two sister ships bring together the latest technology, delivering more a sustainable ‘greener’ cruising option with an approach to allowing passengers to totally immerse themselves into the destination amongst working scientists and leading academics to create a unique cruise expedition. This is the type of adventure holiday that you will remember forever.
These ships are designed and built for the true explorer, those adventurous souls that want to discover and learn more about the remote corners of our world. Those who want to travel to places that are not crowded popular tourist spots. Those who seek travel for the excitement to learn and explore new horizons.