Spotlight on… Hurtigruten MS Fridtjof Nansen

Hurtigruten’s latest addition to their fleet comes a year after the debut of the state-of-the-art, hybrid-powered sustainable explorer MS Roald Amundsen. Featuring the same battery hybrid powered propulsion system as Roald Amundsen, the newly debuted MS Fridtjof Nansen will be a near identical twin.

The vessel is named after Norwegian explorer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Fridtjof Nansen, known for making the first crossing on Greenland on cross-country skis, and for his attempt to reach the North Pole in 1893. Proud of their Norwegian heritage, the majority of Hurtigruten’s fleet is named after famous Norwegian landmarks and explorers, from Fridtjof Nansen to MS Spitsbergen, named for the Svalbard archipelago and its biggest island.

Hurtigruten pushed the boundaries of what expedition voyaging could be with MS Roald Amundsen – take a closer look at her sister ship as we shine the spotlight on MS Fridtjof Nansen below…

Cuisine

MS Fridtjof Nansen features three restaurants, with menus drawn from the brands rich Norwegian and Nordic tradition. The speciality restaurant Lindstrom (complimentary for suite passengers, but available to other passengers at a fee) brings refined Norwegian Nordic cooking to cruise, with feature dishes including reindeer. Lindstrom has understated, simple décor, with paintings from Norway’s Queen Sonja – another nod to Hurtigruten’s heritage.

the auna restaurant on fridtjof nansen
The Aune restaurant

The main dining room, Aune, has a mix of smaller two-or-four-seat tables and larger tables for bigger groups, and offers a dinner menu of salmon, beef tenderloin and more, with vegetarian options and a separate vegan menu. Shaped as a large L with ceiling-height windows, Aune is a well-lit culinary option at all times of the day, with a large breakfast and lunch buffet available.

The smaller Fredheim restaurant offers a more peaceful atmosphere to cruisers, and is described by Hurtigruten as the ‘informal international meeting place’. Fredheim is open all day, and offers international ‘street food’ to suite guests. Soft drinks and the house (ship) beer and wine is included for all meals, while coffee and tea is included throughout the day.

Recreation

The recreation facilities on board Fridtjof Nansen are primarily centred around the expedition focus of the itineraries, with an onboard science center (the Nansen Science Centre), the Explorer Lounge, and the Observation deck. The main entertainment on an expedition ship is of course the excursions – and whether visiting Antarctica, South America, Canada, Alaska, Greenland or Iceland, excursions on a Hurtigruten cruise are always well considered, respectful of the area, and interesting and exciting for the cruisers.

The Nansen Science Centre is an education facility designed to provide a deeper understanding of the itinerary locations to guests, and is kitted out with microscopes, displays of animal skeletons, and other scientific equipment. With an onboard Expedition Team made up of hand-picked specialists and explorers, all of whom are knowledgeable and passionate, the Nansen Science Centre brings an entertaining educational element to the itineraries.

the explorer lounge on fridtjof nansen
The Explorer Lounge on board MS Fridtjof Nansen

The Explorer Lounge, decked out in Scandinavian design, from oak furnishings to flooring representing elevation lines on a map, is the center for socialising in the evenings. The vessel also features a gym and wellness center (with spa and sauna), indoor and outdoor observation decks, and the centrepiece of the ship – a 17.5-metre-tall 4K Ultra-HD LED screen situated in the lobby.

Lodging

The range of cabins on board includes the Polar Outside cabins, Arctic Superior cabins, and Expedition Suites. With a total of 265 passenger cabins (including 5 wheelchair-accessible cabins), all staterooms offer a queen-sized double bed, smart HDTV, minibar, ensuite bathroom and more. 50% of the cabins on board have private balconies, and Hurtigruten say the rooms reflect the stunning scenery with ‘rich and comfortable interior design’, using Scandinavian materials such as granite, oak, birch and wool.

a stateroom on fridtjof nansen
A stateroom on MS Fridtjof Nansen

The rooms follow a style popular in modern cruise with a slatted wooden feature wall behind the bed, but keep the fittings fresh with floating bedside cabinets, wooden details, and curved wooden furniture and fixtures with mid-century modern Scandinavian stylings. The rooms are completed with a branded blanket, emblazoned with the name of the ship.

All Expedition suites feature a private balcony and a lounge area with a double sofa-bed, while the aft corner suites have outdoor hot tubs. Suite passengers can also dine at the Lindstrom Restaurant, with breakfast and dinner complimentary.

A greener future…

As well as top-class onboard facilities, Fridtjof Nansen leads the way in sustainable cruise ship design, featuring Hurtigruten’s battery hybrid engine, which uses 20-30% less fuel than a standard LNG engine. The engine also allows the ship to run on batteries alone for up to 30 minutes – perfect for use in particularly protected areas of the world. On board, the vessel also provides reusable water bottles with hydration stations on each floor, no single-use plastics, and recycling bins in the cabins.


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