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First hybrid powered ship completes Northwest Passage crossing

Press release   •   Sep 13, 2019 10:00 UTC

BREAKING NEW GROUND: Hurtigruten's MS Roald Amundsen in the Northwest passage - as the first hybrid powered ship to traverse the legendary passage. PHOTO: KARSTEN BIDSTRUP/HURTIGRUTEN

This week, Hurtigruten’s groundbreaking expedition cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen wrote a new chapter in exploration history – being the first battery-hybrid powered ship to ever traverse the legendary Northwest Passage.

As the MS Roald Amundsen arrived Nome, Alaska, in the evening of September 10, captain Kai Albrigtsen could make a monumental entry in the ship’s logbook: 

The first complete passage of the more than 3.000 nautical miles passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, by hybrid propulsion.

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- A green milestone

Captain Kai Albrigtsen (center) and his crew completed the historical Northwest passage crossing with MS Roald Amundsen Tuesday evening. Photo: KARSTEN BIDSTRUP/HURTIGRUTEN

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- Every expedition cruise with Hurtigruten is unique, yet this green milestone is literally making history with our guests. Only a few years ago, building cruise ships with battery packs was considered impossible; now the MS Roald Amundsen pays tribute to the great explorer she is named after by traversing one of the world’s most fabled stretches of sea by hybrid propulsion, says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

For centuries, the renowned passage connecting East and West has spellbound ocean explorers.

Norwegian polar pioneer Roald Amundsen made the first complete passage from 1903 to 1906.

- We have experienced gale winds, snow and ice. We have also witnessed spectacular sunsets, and striking scenery and wildlife. However, what has had the biggest impact on us, is how warmly we’ve been welcomed by the local communities along the route, just as Roald Amundsen himself was. Their unparalleled hospitality is what has made this a genuinely inspirational voyage, says captain Albrigtsen.

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Polar pioneers

MS Roald Amundsen on its way through the Norwest passage. PHOTO: KARSTEN BIDSTRUP/HURTIGRUTEN

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Equipped with large battery packs and groundbreaking technology, the MS Roald Amundsen has made global green waves in the cruise- and shipping industry after she was launched this summer. Using batteries to support her engines, emissions are reduced with more than 20 percent.

Having traversed the Northwest Passage, MS Roald Amundsen will sail further along the coast of North- and South America, before spending the winter offering one-of-a-kind expedition cruises in Antarctica.

The summer of 2020, MS Roald Amundsen will then return to North America, for a series of expedition cruises in Alaska.

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FOR MEDIA: More photos of MS Roald Amundsen in the Northwest Passage can be found here: http://bit.ly/ms-roaldamundsen

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More about Hurtigrutens expeditions in the Northwest passage can be found here

Northern lights over MS Roald Amundsen in the Northwest passage: PHOTO: KARSTEN BIDSTRUP/HURTIGRUTEN

Hurtigruten, World leader in exploration travel

Building on 125 years of Norwegian pioneering heritage, Hurtigruten is today the world's largest expedition cruise company.

Hurtigruten’s rapidly growing fleet of custom-build expedition ships takes modern-day adventure travellers to the world’s most spectacular destinations on our Planet - from the High North to Antarctica in the south.

Being the world leader in exploration travel comes with a great responsibility. Hurtigruten is enhancing destinations and runs an responsible, sustainable global operation. Read more about Hurtigruten's sustainability efforts here.

Hurtigruten introduced the world’s first hybrid battery powered cruise ships, the MS Roald Amundsen this summer. In 2020 she is followed by sister ship MS Fridtjof Nansen. 

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