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Hurigruten floats out new explorer ship

Roald Amundsen has innovative technology and a range of special features.

Hurtigruten’s innovative new cruise ship Roald Amundsen, featuring what the cruise line says is pioneering environmentally friendly technology, has been glimpsed for the first time during a float-out in Norway.

The 20,899-ton, 530-passenger vessel touched water for the first time at the Kleven shipyards in Ulsteinvik near Ålesund. The final stage of construction work will now continue as planned.

Designed especially for Antarctic and polar waters, and part of a worldwide boom in new expedition vessels, Roald Amundsen is the first of two new expedition ships in the cruise and ferry company’s eye-catching Explorer Class.

Its electric hybrid engines will cut fuel consumption by 20%, giving the ship solely electric propulsion for periods of up to 30 minutes – the first time a cruise line has used such technology, Cruise Critic writes.

Southern fjords
Scheduled to launch in July, on its maiden season Roald Amundsen will venture out on 18-day to 20-day voyages to Antarctica and the Chilean fjords, part of the company’s broader push into distant lands.

Named after the famous Norwegian explorer who in 1911 became the first man to reach the South Pole, the ship has three restaurants as well as 265 cabins, all with outside views and half of them with balconies.

The public areas include a two-deck forward-facing Explorer Deck wrapped around the bow. Itineraries will be based on nature and landscapes and there is also a science centre, giving passengers an in-depth understanding of the destinations visited. There will be a 10-strong expedition team on every cruise.

The Nordic-inspired interior design highlights natural materials like granite, oak, birch and wool. The sister vessel Fridtjof Nansen is also under construction in Kleven and will launch in 2019.

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