WHY IT RATES: This is the cruise line’s largest upgrade project ever. —Janeen Christoff, TravelPulse Senior Writer
This week, the custom-built polar vessel MS Richard enters the drydock at Norway’s Fosen Yard for a one-month full upgrade of all cabins, suites and guest areas.
“We are thrilled to give the ship named after our founder a new standard Richard With himself would be proud of. What we are doing will add a new dimension to the expression ‘total makeover,'” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.
And it is just the beginning: This is the first of the two-step upgrade that will transform the custom-built polar water vessel into one of the most modern and environmentally-friendly cruise ships in the world. Over the course of the next two years, Hurtigruten will replace diesel propulsion with large battery packs and green LNG (liquefied natural gas) engines on MS Richard With and at least five others of the brand’s existing ships.
“Hurtigruten is strongly committed to being the frontrunner in green change. As we introduce the ships on the Norwegian coast, they set new standards for the industry to follow,” Skjeldam says. “We strongly believe that Hurtigruten, and our responsible and innovative approach to sustainable solutions, is the perfect fit for the modern-day explorer. Hurtigruten is experiencing a substantial global growth. The expansion we have seen so far is just the beginning.”
The major upgrade of MS Richard With—which will operate Hurtigruten’s legendary and original Bergen – Kirkenes voyage—will see a number of new features being added to the ship:
All staterooms and suites will be fully upgraded to match Hurtigruten’s new standards. On deck 6, a number of cabins will be merged into 14 larger suites, some with large bay windows and spectacular views.
In addition to a full makeover, the aft-facing Torget main restaurant will be fitted with large deck-to-ceiling windows.
The Brygga bistro found on other Hurtigruten ships will be replaced by an upgraded and larger arcade and a brand-new Activity Center, which will act as the on-board headquarter for Hurtigruten’s Expedition Team.
Kysten Fine Dining—serving innovative dishes based on high quality, local produce such as ultra-fresh seafood – will appear slightly different from other Hurtigruten ships, and also will be open for a la carte lunch.
The gym on deck 7 will be enlarged, the sauna upgraded and two aft-facing outdoor hot tubs will be added.
Two new lecture halls will be added forward on deck 4, in conjunction with the open Kompass information and shopping area, where guests can enjoy exclusive offers on outdoor clothing and other items.
On deck 7, the informal and hugely popular Hurtigruten venue Multe Bakery—serving freshly baked cakes and pastries, smørbrød (open sandwiches with generous amounts of topping), smoothies, a large assortment of local ice cream with homemade toppings, premium coffee, organic herbal tea, and premium juice will be added.
On the more technical side, the ship will also undergo several upgrades—including the installment of shore power facilities and a new air condition system.
After a recent order for a third, revolutionary hybrid powered expedition cruise ship, Hurtigruten now operates a growing fleet of 17 custom-built expedition ships.
Exploring unique destinations from pole to pole, including Antarctica, South America, Norway, Svalbard, Greenland, Northwest Passage and other Arctic destinations, Hurtigruten is the world’s largest expedition cruise operator.
SOURCE: Hurtigruten press release.
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