Norwegian exploration travel company Hurtigruten has signed a letter of intent for the construction of up to four new explorer ships with Norwegian shipyard Kleven. The order for delivery in 2018 and 2019 is a move to meet growing demand for adventure travel from travellers in the U.S. and across the globe.
The order includes the construction of two new state-of-the-art vessels, which will be designed and customized specifically for adventure-rich expedition voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, as well as along the Norwegian coastline. The signing marks the largest investment Hurtigruten has made in its more than 120 years of exploring the Arctic and Antarctic waters.
“This is a milestone for us and expresses how confident we are in the growth of the global market for adventure tourism” says Daniel Skjeldam, CEO, Hurtigruten. “We intend to build the most formidable expedition ships the world has seen.” Adventure tourism is one of the fastest growing global tourist trends valued at $263 billion and has witnessed an increase of 195 percent in over just two years.
The new ships will offer a host of activities for adventure seekers, from climbing and kayaking to rib tours, whale and sea eagle safaris. The new vessels will explore some of the world’s most exceptionally beautiful and unspoilt natural surroundings while also offering 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.
“Every season we’ve seen an increase in demand from guests to travel with Hurtigruten for the unrivalled range of adventure activities we offer,” notes Gordon Dirker, Managing Director, Hurtigruten U.S. It has been more than ten years since Hurtigruten last placed an order for the construction of a new ship.
The vessels will be designed and developed by Rolls-Royce, with the assistance of Norwegian ship designer Espen Øino.
Using its current fleet of ships, Hurtigruten will offer explorer travel to additional new destinations including the Amazon Rainforest and Arctic Canada in 2017. However, the new explorer ships will allow guests to land close to the coastline of these new adventure destinations.
About the new explorer ships:
Specially designed expedition ships for polar waters
Customized also for the Norwegian coastal route
Number of passengers: Approximately 600
Number of cabins: Approximately 300
Dimensions (external): Length 140m, width 23m, height 29m
Delivery: The first ship summer 2018, ship two summer 2019