Hurtigruten Expeditions’ battery-hybrid powered MS Fridtjof Nansen has made history with the northernmost naming ceremony for a passenger ship – at the location where expedition cruising began in 1896.
In spectacular surroundings at latitude 78˚ North in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, the local community joined the celebrations of one of the world’s greenest and most advanced cruise ships.
“We are thrilled to celebrate more than 125 years of exploration and adventure travel where it all began. We couldn’t be prouder acknowledging this important milestone by naming this engineering marvel at the spot where our founder Richard With pioneered modern-day expedition cruising,” said Hurtigruten Group CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
Since founding expedition cruising in 1896 with sailings to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, often dubbed “next to the North Pole”, Hurtigruten Expeditions has grown to become the largest and leading expedition cruise operator in the world.
Replacing the traditional bottle of champagne with a chunk of ice, godmothers and environmental advocates Hilde Fålun Strøm and Sunniva Sørby, named MS Fridtjof Nansen by continuing a Hurtigruten Expeditions ritual invented by polar hero Roald Amundsen himself
As Sørby and Strøm crushed the ice against the hybrid powered ship’s raked bow, the explorers quoted Amundsen’s words from when he named polar ship Maud in 1917.