Norwegian specialist Hurtigruten has acquired a new ship to boost its fleet to 13. The vessel is on her way from Portugal – where she was built in 2009 – and has been given the temporary name of MS Norway Explorer.
A total reconstruction is planned before the ship sails under the Hurtigruten flag next year, when she will start service along the coastal route between Bergen and Kirkenes, replacing MS Midnatsol which will be joining MS Fram on expedition voyages to Antarctica.
Few details have yet been released about the Explorer’s former life; the 7,025-ton vessel was built at Estaleiros Navais de Viana do Castelo (ENVC) in northern Portugal and I believe it started life as a car ferry
Hurtigruten’s rebuild will result in a ship with a passenger capacity of 320. The vessel is 319 feet long, with a 16-ft draught, and is propelled by two azimuthing thrusters, with a maximum speed of 17.4 knots.
Chief executive Daniel Skjeldam says the company plans a “total reconstruction in order to meet Hurtigruten’s high standards” and adds that the hull will be ice-strengthened for sailing in polar waters to Greenland, Svalbard and Antarctica.
“The guest area will consist of comfortable cabins and public areas, making it possible to experience the spectacular scenery in comfortable surroundings. It is a modern and environmentally friendly ship, and we will make further adjustments to reduce fuel consumption and emissions,” says Skjeldam.