New Hurtigruten hybrid ship named in ‘northernmost’ ceremony

The northernmost naming ceremony for a passenger ship was carried out for Hurtigruten Expeditions’ battery-hybrid powered MS Fridtjof Nansen.

The event took place in Longyearbyen in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard at the location where the company began expedition sailings in 1896.

The 530-passenger MS Fridtjof Nansen is the first cruise ship to be registered in Longyearbyen.

A chunk of ice replaced the traditional bottle of Champagne in the naming ceremony.

The traditional godmother gift was also replaced by a joint donation to local projects.

Hurtigruten group chief executive Daniel Skjeldam said: “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.”

Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen added: “By naming this unprecedented ship after Fridtjof Nansen, on Svalbard, we pay tribute to him as an explorer and a scientist and to the rich arctic legacy of Hurtigruten Expeditions. We also salute our long-lasting relationship with the Svalbard community.

“This small-sized, battery-hybrid powered expedition ship will explore all waters – and she will do so proudly calling Svalbard home.”

The ship’scaptain Bent Ivar Gangdal said:“Exploration is who we are. We will always explore. Today is a very special day for me and all my colleagues on board this magnificent ship.

“We are thrilled to welcome guests onboard MS Fridtjof Nansen to co-explore the remote corners of the globe with us – and wholeheartedly committed to explore in the most sustainable and respectful manner.”

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