Earlier this year Norwegian expedition cruise line Hurtigruten unveiled the world’s first hybrid-powered cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen, which uses large battery packs and groundbreaking green technology for more sustainable operation.
Now, Hurtigruten’s MS Roald Amundsen has made history once again as the first ship ever to be named in Antarctica.
With crew and guests from more than 20 countries taking part in the ship’s maiden voyage to Antarctica, the MS Roald Amundsen was officially named in spectacular surroundings in Chiriguano Bay, Brabant Island, Antarctica on Thursday 7 November.
“We could not think of a better location than Antarctica to name a truly unique ship like MS Roald Amundsen,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said.
In honour of the Norwegian polar explorer the ship was named after, godmother and polar pioneer Karin Strand revived one of his old rituals that involved crushing a chunk of ice against the hybrid-powered ship’s raked bow. She then spoke the same words Amundsen used when he christened the polar ship Maud in 1917:
“It is not my intention to dishonour the glorious grape, but already now you shall get the taste of your real environment. For the ice you have been built, in the ice, you shall stay most of your life, and in the ice, you shall solve your tasks.”
Hurtigruten, the world’s largest and leading expedition cruise line, specially designed MS Roald Amundsen for exploring some of the most spectacular waters of the planet. The hybrid-powered expedition ship honours her namesake’s legacy by taking guests to destinations such as Antarctica, Alaska and the Northwest Passage.
During the naming ceremony, guests of MS Roald Amundsen followed from inflatable explorer boats and were joined by guests and crew onboard Hurtigruten’s MS Midnatsol – currently on an expedition cruise exploring Antarctica.
Rather than accepting the traditional godmother gift at the ceremony, Skjeldam revealed that Karin wanted to donate it to the Hurtigruten Foundation instead, a foundation specially set up to contribute to areas Hurtigruten explores.
“We want to use this first-ever Antarctica naming ceremony to pay our respects to our oceans, the environment and past and present explorers,” Skjeldam said.
The hope is that the sustainably powered ship packed with groundbreaking green technology and large battery packs to support her low-emission engines will serve as an inspiration for others to follow.
“I believe Roald Amundsen would be proud. With the ship carrying his name and legacy, Hurtigruten is pushing borders, challenging the industry, and keep pushing towards a greener and more sustainable operation. As Roald Amundsen was the symbol of a new era of exploration, MS Roald Amundsen is the symbol of a new era in the cruise industry,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.
After completing the 2019/2020 Antarctica season, MS Roald Amundsen will spend the summer of 2020 in Alaska. Meanwhile, a second battery hybrid powered expedition cruise ship – MS Fridtjof Nansen – is in the making and is set to join the growing Hurtigruten fleet next spring.