Hurtigruten will showcase soon-to-launch ship Fridtjof Nansen to the UK next year ahead of its debut summer programme.
The 530-passenger vessel will operate four pre-inaugural ex-UK voyages in March before being based in Hamburg from April 1.
The line had anticipated the ship embarking on its first sailing on April 1, but following successful sea trials last week, deployment plans have been changed and the vessel will now come to the UK.
Fridtjof Nansen (pictured) will offer five-night cruises from Tilbury on March 7; Liverpool on March 12; and Portsmouth on March 17.
Ports of call include the Isles of Scilly, Fowey, Isle of Portland, Isle of Man and Dartmouth.
On March 23, the ship will depart from London’s Tower Bridge and sail to Oslo via Aalborg, Denmark on a four-night sailing.
On March 28, the ship will sail its final pre-inaugural from Oslo to Hamburg.
Pre-inaugural sailings will go on sale once Hurtigruten has finalised details such as pricing in the next fortnight, the line’s UK general manager Anthony Daniels told Travel Weekly.
He said: “This is a massive show of confidence to the UK market. Our head office knows the potential of the UK.
“My message to the trade would be to embrace this opportunity and speak to our sales team and watch this space.
“There will be opportunities to sail on board and see the ship on day visits because the itineraries will be hugging the UK coast.
“It will be about showcasing what the ship offers and what a hybrid-powered ship looks like.
“Head office would not give us this opportunity if they did not think we could make use of it.”
Chief executive of Kleven Shipyard Kjetil Bollestad said the shipbuilding team was “extremely satisfied” with the results of the sea trials.
Bollestad said: “(The ship] performed so well that we concluded the tests a full day early.
“Building on the experience we got from Roald Amundsen, we are confident in delivering one of the most advanced vessels in the world by end of the year.
“In cooperation with the Hurtigruten team, our employees, subcontractors and partners have all done a great job.”
Fridtjof Nansen is the sister vessel to hybrid-electric-powered Roald Amundsen which was christened in Antarctica last month.
Fridtjof Nansen is expected to be delivered to the line by the end of this year.
Daniel Skeldam, the line’s chief executive, said: “We see great demand for our expedition cruises across all markets and all destinations.
“With their green technology and unprecedented focus on sustainable solutions, Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen are not only driving demand, they are driving change in the cruise industry.”
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