Hurtigruten, the world’s foremost authority in Arctic and Antarctic voyaging and explorer travel, is launching MS Midnatsol to Antarctica for the 2016/2017 season. This more than doubles the company's capacity in this strategically important region.
MS Midnatsol to Antarctica
The Chilean fjords, Cape Horn, Strait of Magellan and Antarctica are only some of the highlights of MS Midnatsol’s amazing itineraries when she, in September 2016, sets sail from Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia. A unique combination of extreme nature experiences in Antarctica, and the South American hospitality set the framework for Hurtigruten's new and stronger initiatives on southern latitudes.
MS Midnatsol (2003) will have up to 500 guests on board. An internationally composed, highly experienced expedition team will ensure a varied and exciting content to the voyage, both on board and during landings and excursions throughout the adventure. Hiking on glacier ice thousands of years old, walking among penguins, kayaking between seals and snorkeling in Antarctica’s ice water are just some of the experiences that will be offered during these voyages.
This is an important strategic choice for Hurtigruten. We are positioning ourselves even stronger in the growing exploration market. The company is a leading, responsible player in sustainable travel. With the modern and flexible MS Midnatsol we meet the growing global demand for active nature-based experiences with an attractive product, says Daniel Skjeldam, CEO in Hurtigruten.
The itineraries for MS Midnatsol in Antarctica are adjusted to seasonal variations and follow the wildlife in the area, the ice conditions and the local cultural history. Through the choice of itinerary, landing sites and popular scientific lectures on board, guests will experience and explore this continent that has had such a lasting attraction on the world's polar explorers and scientists.
Hurtigruten will further refine the product for the existing 200 berth explorer vessel MS Fram. The ship's crew will, based on Ushuaia Argentina as turnaround port, seek new sites and destinations in Antarctica, inaccessible to larger groups. The guest’s nature experiences will become even more challenging and extreme, through following the footsteps of the great explorers by skiing on glaciers, expedition camping among the penguins and kayaking in the habitat of seals and whales. MS Fram and MS Midnatsol will complement each other optimally.
We are creating a rougher more activity based Antarctica product with MS Fram, sailing to places we haven’t been before. At the same time we can promise that the guests on MS Midnatsol will experience highlights they will never forget. Spectacular nature with massive icebergs, towering glaciers and abundant wildlife will meet guests on board both our ships in Antarctica, Skjeldam says.
The MS Midnatsol will from September 2016 to April 2017 carry a total of 16 departures, 10 of these in Antarctica. MS Fram will in the same period do nine sailings in Antarctica.
Close to 28 000 tourists traveled to Antarctica in the 2013/2014 season, and the market for active nature-based adventures to exotic destinations are showing a significant growth. Hurtigruten now consolidates its position as the world's leading operator in sustainable travel in the Arctic and Antarctica.
The company has experienced an increasing demand for the successful MS Fram sailings both in the Arctic and in Antarctica. Hurtigruten’s destinations, along the Norwegian coast, off Greenland, Svalbard and in Antarctica, are recognized as the most beautiful destinations in the world.
MS Midnatsol will undergo some adjustments prior to the Antarctica sailings, but is basically extremely suitable for the operations. The ship has an ice class 1C, helipad, a redundant propulsion system and will be equipped with a customized oil retention system.
MS Midnatsol will during the Antarctica season be replaced with an alternative ship in the traditional route along the Norwegian coast.
Hurtigruten is a daily passenger and freight shipping service along Norway's western and northern coast between Bergen and Kirkenes. We also offer Explorer voyages in Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, Spitsbergen and across the Transatlantic.