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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Hurtigruten Sails Toward Major 2016/2017 Expansion

Hurtigruten and its off-the-beaten-path programming, known for signature year-round Norwegian coastal sailings and worldwide expeditions, are sailing towards an even loftier expansion in 2016 and 2017.For 2016 alone, the line plans to triple its Antarctica capacity, introduce a ship specifically for “extreme experiences,” refurbish four Norwegian Coastal Voyage vessels and launch its new Spitsbergen. The ship was originally built in 2009 and will have its interiors redesigned by Tillberg Design and be retooled for polar waters and reducing emissions and fuel consumption.Then in 2017, the Explorer Program will expand from two to four ships embarking on expedition cruises; the Arctic program will add Canadian Newfoundland and Labrador to Spitsbergen, Iceland and Greenland, including Kangertittivaq or Scoresby; and tropical itineraries will feature Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and the Amazon river in the Brazilian rainforest.“We want to offer our guests unique and meaningful experiences regardless of the water temperature,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. “Hurtigruten attracts guests who want to be involved, not be passive spectators. They want active excursions, to interact with local people, to learn about the cultures, geography, geology, climates and history of the destinations they are visiting, and they want to sail with a company dedicated to sustainable travel and the environment.”SustainabilityIn fact, the line has recently established the Hurtigruten Foundation intent on preserving the landscapes and cultures they explore, and the foundation proudly touts Lewis Pugh – swimmer, ocean advocate and the UN-appointed “Patron of the Oceans” – as its first ambassador.“Many of the areas Hurtigruten sails to are vulnerable. It is important to showcase nature in the gentlest manner possible and to educate and encourage our guests to become ambassadors, who will then help to preserve it,” says Skjeldam.The cruise line goes on to describe its other exciting offerings in detail:Extreme ExperiencesOn the east coast of Greenland, Hurtigruten will let guests explore Kangertittivaq or Scoresby, a fjord which extends 350 kilometers into the vast island. Trips to this special fjord are combined with visits to Iceland, Jan Mayen and Beerenberg in Svalbard (site of the world’s northernmost volcano), and Lofoten.Guests have close-up experiences of glaciers calving huge icebergs and volcanoes smoldering at the same time as visiting the domains of whales, dolphins, seabirds, polar bears and musk oxen. There will also be Arctic expedition sailings to the remote town of Thule on the northwestern tip of Greenland.AmazonFor more than 120 years, Hurtigruten has taken guests close to nature along the Norwegian coast, in the Arctic, and eventually in Antarctica. Now Hurtigruten is offering to let people connect with their inner explorer in tropical waters. Starting deep inside the Brazilian rainforest, the MS Fram sails down the immense rive

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