Hurtigruten Expeditions has kicked off its return to expedition cruising by introducing its third battery-hybrid powered ship, MS Otto Sverdrup.
This ship’s maiden voyage, which departed from Hamburg on 24 August, marked the introduction of the first year-round expedition cruises from Germany, offering departures directly from Hamburg to the Norwegian coast; and the return of expedition cruises after more than a year of pandemic pause.
“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 CEO Asta Lassesen.
Equipped with battery packs and other green technology, MS Otto Sverdrup adds to the cruise line’s existing battery-hybrid powered cruise ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen.
“We saw the travel industry’s global pause as a golden opportunity to invest, upgrade and improve our ships and product,” said Lassesen.
“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.”
The ship is named after one of Norway’s most notable polar heroes; Otto Sverdrup. 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 on board to of the line’s ships.
Damian Perry, Hurtigruten’s regional managing director and VP of sales and marketing, said the pent-up demand for travel in the Asia Pacifc is strong.
“We know that guests in our region are living through the challenges of lockdowns and the various rules and regulations our governments have implemented,” he said.
“However, we also know that their travel dreams are still alive and strong. They are looking forward to their future adventures.”