Hurtigruten's newest ship, the MS Spitsbergen, is named after the island of Spitsbergen in the breathtaking Svalbard archipelago. She is the perfect size to manoeuvre through polar waters and bring guests up close and personal with beautiful landscapes like that of her namesake.
On MS Spitsbergen, there is an emphasis on learning and discovery beyond the ordinary. Crew are equipped with expert knowledge and there are daily lectures in geology, history and ornithology. The ship has a photo and optics test centre, a media program and many on board facilities to enable you to make the most of the unique regions of the world you will find yourself in while on the ship.
There are also many outdoor activities on offer for those ready to embrace their adventurous side with camping, hiking and kayaking programs. On various trips, guest expedition staff join the crew to treat our guests to a variety of activities and their wealth of knowledge so that you can write your own Viking saga.
Spitsbergen is the Arctic crown of Norway, a jewel in the beautiful Svalbard archipelago. Hurtigruten has a long history of travelling from the mainland to this remote area of Norway, where some of the world's most unique cultures persist. In keeping with Hurtigruten's important connection with the Norwegian community, this ship was named after a public competition with over 15,000 entries.
“We find MS Spitsbergen to be a very appropriate name as it ties together our history and present-day Hurtigruten,” says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. “As early as 1896, Hurtigruten founder and tourism entrepreneur Richard With built a hotel in Spitsbergen and established “The Sports route” with sailings from Hammerfest to Spitsbergen, operated by steamship DS Lofoten. Having built on this heritage, today we are world leading operator of nature-based experiences along the Norwegian coast, in the waters around Antarctica and in the Arctic.”
Unlike Hurtigruten's other ships, MS Spitsbergen is not a working ship meaning she does not need to dock at port each night. As a result, guests can spend longer admiring the magnificent fjords and enjoying the daytime activities. From May 2017, guests can sail on MS Spitsbergen to Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe and Shetland Islands, as well as to Arctic Canada. In 2017/2018, MS Spitsbergen will operate expedition style coastal voyages, the ideal choice for those who want to explore the coast in an adventurous way.
There is a large observation deck from which guests can look out to the marine life below, including some seldom seen species of birds as well as polar bears and penguins, to name just a few. Deck 6 has a covered observation deck with panoramic windows so that guests can make the most of their gorgeous surrounds, even when relaxing inside. Both the restaurant and bistro also capitalise on the views, so that guests can enjoy beautiful local produce while admiring the environment from which the unique cuisine is derived.
Although offering many activities for thrill-seeking guests, on the MS Spitsbergen comfort is never sacrificed for adventure. With newly updated interiors, as of 2016, the ship has a fresh colour palette that reflects the ocean surrounds. The design is classically Scandinavian, simple yet comfortable, designed by Tillberg Design of Sweden – the world leader in maritime architecture and interior design. The ship has a number of cabins on offer, catering for all guests, and all the public areas are comfortable and modern.
During her reconstruction in 2016, improvements were made to lower MS Spitsbergen's fuel consumption and reduce emissions, meaning she now has a strong environmental profile, in line with Hurtigruten's ambition to be a world leader in sustainable travel.