Norwegian exploration travel company Hurtigruten has ordered two new explorer ships to be designed and developed by Rolls-Royce.
The 600-passenger vessels, to be built at a Norwegian shipyard, will be customised for adventure-rich expedition voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, as well as along the Norwegian coastline.
The deal – the largest in the company’s 120-year history – will see the ships delivered in 2018 and 2019. Hurtigruten holds an option for a further two ships
Set to offer a host of activities for adventure seekers, from climbing and kayaking to rib-tours, whale and sea eagle safaris, the new vessels will embark on exploring some of the world’s most exceptionally beautiful and unspoilt natural surroundings.
On board, experts will present lectures on topics relevant to the destinations they sail to in areas such as history, zoology, botany, and environmental science. In addition, experienced expedition teams will accompany passengers on educational excursions to isolated places only accessible by ships or zodiac boats.
Chief executive Daniel Skjeldam said: “This is a milestone for us and an expression of our confidence in the growth of the global market for adventure tourism. We are to build the most formidable expedition ships the world has seen.
“People no longer want to spend their holiday time being passive spectators. The new adventure traveller is looking for authentic experiences, which is why sedentary, standardised travel packages are becoming less popular and active adventure travel is booming.”
The vessels will be designed and developed by Rolls-Royce, with the assistance of renowned Norwegian ship designer Espen Øino, and built by Kleven, a long-standing partner.
From 2017, Hurtigruten will offer explorer travel to additional new destinations such as the Amazon Rainforest and Arctic Canada. And with the new explorer ships, guests will be able to land close to new completely new adventurous destinations.
Magnus Zetterberg UK managing director of Hurtigruten explains further, “Every season we’ve seen an increase in demand from guests to travel with Hurtigruten for the unrivalled range of adventure activities we offer. It has been more than 10 years since Hurtigruten last placed an order for the construction of a new ship so the prospect of being able to expand this with the arrival of new vessels is very exciting.”