Hurtigruten has announced the setting for the christening of its new ship, MS Spitsbergen, as well as details of its first season.
The ceremony will take place on July 6 in Lofoten, Norway, one of Hurtigruten’s key calling points since 1893.
It will see the ship christened under one of Norway’s most spectacular natural phenomenon, the midnight sun, for the first time in history, according to the company.
Named after the largest island in the Svalbard Archipelago, the vessel will start its first season in Norway before alternating between sailings along the Norwegian coastline and polar expeditions.
Cruises include the In the Wake of the Vikings itinerary, which will take in the Viking trail from Bergen via the British Isles to Iceland.
Daniel Skjeldam, CEO for Hurtigruten, said: “Lofoten and Svolvaer have everything the modern adventure traveller seeks – spectacular scenery, the midnight sun, unique culture and opportunities for active experiences. For the christening, we will stitch together a compact event with sustainable adventure tourism at its core. The three ships, MS Spitsbergen, MS Richard With and MS Midnatsol, will all be berthed in Svolvaer during the ceremony.
“We plan for a spectacular one-of-kind festival packed with active nature-based experiences and complimented with locally sourced food from Hurtigruten’s Norway’s Coastal Kitchen. Archeological findings suggest Lofoten is the place where pioneer explorer Leiv Eriksson went ashore and later named Vinland. Coming here more than 1000 years later certainly has a Viking saga ring to it.”
Anthony Daniels, UK & Ireland head of sales, added: “Every year we see an increase in demand from guests wanting to explore Norway’s stunning coastline. We are always keen to widen our offering to meet this demand, whilst continuing to reaffirm our position as leaders in coastal exploration and continue to satisfy everyone’s thirst for adventure.”