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Hurtigruten Expeditions, a world leading and largest expedition cruise company, returns to Antarctica with the battery-hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen, and MS Fram. Both will once again bring guests to explore the White Continent as of November and December, departing from Punta Arenas, Chile.

Due to the travel restrictions situation, the third ship planned for Antarctica, the newly named battery-hybrid powered MS Fridtjof Nansen, will instead be offering expedition cruises to the coast of Norway from Hamburg, Germany. She will complement the refurbished battery-hybrid powered MS Otto Sverdrup, as most of her sailings are sold out for the first quarter of 2022 due to strong demand.

Affected guests have been contacted with rebooking options.

“Launching a two-ship Antarctica season this November marks a remarkable turning point for us. With MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fram sailing out of Punta Arenas, and MS Fridtjof Nansen sailing in-demand expedition cruises in Europe, we will be back on track with all of our planned expedition fleet activities at the start of the new year. Couple this with the fact that all Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express ships are back in schedule, and that all hotels and on-land offers will be open to guests again, the 2022 travel landscape for Australia and New Zealand is looking very optimistic,” said Damian Perry,  Managing Director, VP Sales & Marketing, Asia-Pacific.

With very strong 2022 booking numbers demonstrating substantial pent-up demand for future adventure travel, Hurtigruten Expeditions now prepare for:

  • MS Roald Amundsen to sail her first Antarctica expedition cruise out of Punta Arenas on November 25.
  • MS Fram, originally scheduled to depart from Ushuaia, Argentina, to kick off her 2021/22 Antarctica season from Punta Arenas, on December 14.
  • MS Fridtjof Nansen, initially scheduled for Antarctica 2021/22, to have her first departure from Hamburg in January 2022.

All guests and crewmembers for all Antarctica expedition cruises will be vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency.

“Returning to Antarctica is something we’ve been dreaming of and preparing for a very long time now. We are thrilled to again offer our guests safe and sustainable, life-changing Antarctic adventures,” said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen.

MS Roald Amundsen’s first departure will be a Solar Eclipse sailing. The ship will bring guests to the Scotia Sea near the South Orkney Islands, a group of four islands almost 400 miles northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula, supposedly the best place to experience the eclipse. As this region’s next solar eclipse phenomenon will not occur for about 400 years, it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“Watching a solar eclipse from the deck of an expedition ship sailing between icebergs off the coast of the South Pole continent, may very well be the closest you get to the feeling of being on another planet,” said Lassesen.

Hurtigruten Expeditions has been operating expedition cruises out of Chile since the early 2000s. Long-lasting relations and strong networks are important reasons to land on Punta Arenas as port of departure for all its 2021/22 Antarctica expeditions.

“We have 20 years of experience operating under the umbrella of Chilean authorities and with highly professional local partners. We are confident to lock in on a combination of Santiago de Chile and Punta Arenas as our gateway for Antarctica for the upcoming season,” said Perry.

Hurtigruten Expeditions will fly guests arriving to Santiago de Chile to Punta Arenas by domestic charter flights.

Both on-land and at-sea logistics will follow strict, still guest-friendly, protocols.

“We are proud to share our absolute commitment to safety and safeguarding the health of our guests, crew, and partners, with our Chilean counterparts. Existing strong and solid infrastructures have been further improved with service levels being increased to even more impressive standards,“ said Perry.

This August, Hurtigruten Expeditions started offering expedition cruises from Hamburg to Norway. The voyages with the newly upgraded hybrid expedition ship MS Otto Sverdrup, are the very first year-round expedition cruises from Germany.

With all sailings for the first quarter of 2022 being sold out, Hurtigruten Expeditions has chosen to deploy the ground-breaking battery-hybrid MS Fridtjof Nansen on parallel sailings out of Hamburg from January next year.

MS Fridtjof Nansen was recently named at latitude 78˚ North in Longyearbyen, Svalbard in what was the world’s northernmost naming of a passenger ship ever.

The godmothers of the ship, environmental advocates Hilde Fålun Strøm and Sunniva Sørby from the Hearts in the Ice project, will be onboard MS Fridtjof Nansen on one of the new Hamburg expedition cruises to Norway.

A report by John Alwyn-Jones, Cruise Editor