Hurtigruten, the Norwegian coastal cruise specialist, is to double its capacity in Antarctica, bringing its total number of ships in the region to two.
The company, which currently operates the Fram as part of expedition fleet, will move the Midnatsol over from its Norway cruising division.
The Midnatsol is capable of carrying 500 passengers, more than double that of Fram.
“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”, said Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten.
Fram will continue to operate out of Ushuaia, Argentina, however, from September 2016, guests will be offered an alternative with the Midnatsol operating out of Punta Arenas to explore the Chilean fjords, Strait of Magellan and Cape Horn.
Midnatsol will become the biggest ship capable of offering land excursions in Antarctica. It will be positioned as a more mainstream option for passengers wanting to see the polar region, with a product being created that is suitable for families.
Teenagers will be offered the new science-based ‘Young Explorer’ programme, which will be presented in a more targeted way than the adult programme.
The Antarctica cruises are on sale now.