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Norwegian exploration travel company Hurtigruten has announced an order of up to four new explorer ships for 2018/19 sailings in a move to meet growing demand for adventure travel from holidaymakers across the globe.
The signing, which marks the largest investment Hurtigruten has made in its more than 120-years of exploring the Arctic and Antarctic waters, will open-up the polar waters and exciting new adventure opportunities.
Set to offer a host of activities for adventure seekers, from climbing and kayaking to rib-tours, whale and sea eagle safaris, the new vessels will embark on exploring some of the world’s most exceptionally beautiful and unspoilt natural surroundings. Adventure tourism is one of the fastest growing global tourist trends valued at $263 billion*, and has witnessed an increase of 195% over just two years.
The order includes the construction of two new state-of-the-art vessels, which will be designed and customised specifically for adventure-rich expedition voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, as well as along the Norwegian coastline. Hurtigruten prioritises sustainability, and the new ships will be equipped with advanced environmentally-friendly technology to reduce emissions, underlining its vision of playing a lead role when it comes to green shipping.
Hurtigruten’s new ships will also offer lectures on topics relevant to the destinations they sail to from experts in areas such as history, zoology, botany, and environmental science. In addition, experienced expedition teams will accompany passengers on educational excursions to isolated places only accessible by ships or zodiac boats.
Daniel Skjeldam, Hurtigruten’s CEO says, “This is a milestone for us and an expression of our confidence in the growth of the global market for adventure tourism. We are to build the most formidable expedition ships the world has seen.”
“People no longer want to spend their holiday time being passive spectators. The new adventure traveller is looking for authentic experiences, which is why sedentary, standardized travel packages are becoming less popular and active adventure travel is booming” Skjeldam adds. “Our experience is that explorers travelling with Hurtigruten crave adventurous activities and mindfulness in combination, therefore Hurtigruten offers active voyages. We offer real experiences in local environments, just steps away from the wildlife.”
Magnus Zetterberg UK Managing Director of Hurtigruten explains further, “We offer our guests a truly unique experience on-board all of our ships. Every season we’ve seen an increase in demand from guests to travel with Hurtigruten for the unrivalled range of adventure activities we offer. It has been more than ten years since Hurtigruten last placed an order for the construction of a new ship so the prospect of being able to expand this with the arrival of new vessels is very exciting.”
The agreement is testament to Norway’s strong international position as a shipbuilding nation. It will also ensure Hurtigruten’s position as world leading within adventure tourism in the Arctic and Antarctica.
Daniel Skjeldam adds, “We are proud to be a more than 120-year old pioneer company. Along parts of the Norwegian coast, Hurtigruten drew the charts - literally. We will bring this knowledge and know-how with us when we put the new ships into operation.”
The vessels will be designed and developed by Rolls-Royce, with the assistance of renowned Norwegian ship designer Espen Øino, and built by Kleven, a longstanding partner.
From 2017, Hurtigruten will offer explorer travel to additional new destinations such as the Amazon Rainforest and Arctic Canada. And with the new explorer ships, guests will be able to land close to new completely new adventurous destinations.