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MS Roald Amundsen became the first ship to be named in Antarctica. Photo: Shayne McGuire/Hurtigruten
MS Roald Amundsen became the first ship to be named in Antarctica. Photo: Shayne McGuire/Hurtigruten

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Named in ice - with ice: Battery hybrid powered cruise ship becomes first vessel named in Antarctica

Hurtigruten’s hybrid powered expedition cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen has once again made history – as the first ship ever named in Antarctica.

- We could not think of a better location than Antarctica to name a truly unique ship like MS Roald Amundsen, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said.

With crew and guests from more than 20 countries taking part in the world’s first hybrid powered cruise ship’s maiden Antarctica voyage, MS Roald Amundsen was officially named in spectacular surroundings in Chiriguano Bay, Brabant Island, Antarctica, Thursday morning local time.

Spectacular location – spectacular ceremony

The ship was named with a chunk of ice by godmother Karin Strand. PHOTO: Shayne McGuire/Hurtigruten.

Replacing the traditional bottle of champagne with a chunk of ice, godmother and polar pioneer Karin Strand revived a ritual invented by polar hero Roald Amundsen himself.

READ MORE: Meet Karin Strand – polar pioneer and MS Roald Amundsen godmother

As Strand crushed the ice against the hybrid powered ship’s raked bow, she chose Amundsen’s own words, first used when he christened the polar ship Maud in 1917:

“It is not my intention to dishonor the glorious grape, but already now you shall get the taste of your real environment. For the ice you have been built, in the ice you shall stay most of your life, and in the ice, you shall solve your tasks”.

With green technology to the White continent

Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam, Godmother Karin Strand and Captain Kai Albrigtsen after the ceremony. PHOTO: Kim Rørmark/Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten, the world’s largest and leading expedition cruise line, specially designed MS Roald Amundsen for exploring some of the most spectacular waters of the planet. The hybrid powered expedition ship honors her namesake’s legacy by taking guests to destinations such as Antarctica, Alaska and the Northwest Passage.

Now she’s also the first ship in history named in Antarctica.

- For all of us on board MS Roald Amundsen this is a very special day for a very special ship. She is the most innovative vessel to hit the waters in decades and we hope she will serve as an inspiration for others to follow, captain Kai Albrigtsen says.

MS Roald Amundsens Captain Kai Albrigtsen. Photo: Andrea Klaussner/Hurtigruten. 

READ MORE: Meet Kai Albrigtsen – world’s first captain on a hybrid powered cruise ship

Packed with groundbreaking green technology, MS Roald Amundsen uses large battery packs to support her low-emission engines, reducing CO2 emissions with more than 20 % compared to other cruise ships of the same size.

- I am truly honored to share a historical moment like this with likeminded explorers and colleagues, dedicated to exploring our oceans in a more sustainable way, godmother Karin Strand says.

Creating history

Guests from MS Midnatsol could follow the ceremony from nearby. Photo: Shayne McGuire/Hurtigruten. 

As the guests of MS Roald Amundsen followed the naming ceremony from inflatable explorer boats, they were joined by guests and crew on board Hurtigruten’s MS Midnatsol – currently on an expedition cruise exploring Antarctica.

- I believe Roald Amundsen would be proud. With the ship carrying his name and legacy, Hurtigruten is pushing borders, challenging the industry, and pushing towards a greener and more sustainable operation. As Roald Amundsen was the symbol of a new era of exploration, MS Roald Amundsen is the symbol of a new era in the cruise industry, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

During the ceremony, Skjeldam revealed that Karin Strand had asked for the traditional godmother gift to be replaced by a donation to Hurtigruten Foundation, a foundation specially set up to contribute to areas Hurtigruten explores.

- We want to use this first ever Antarctica naming ceremony to pay our respects to our oceans, the environment and past and present explorers, Skjeldam says.

The ship was named with ice in the ice. Photo: Kim Rørmark/Hurtigruten

In the wake of great explorers

Polar hero Roald Amundsen led the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage, the first expedition to the south pole, the first expedition proven to have reached the North Pole and created a legacy as one of the greatest explorers of all times.

This summer, MS Roald Amundsen made history as the first cruise ship to sail on battery power and became the first hybrid powered ship to traverse the legendary Northwest Passage.

After completing the 2019/2020 Antarctica season, MS Roald Amundsen will spend the summer of 2020 in Alaska.

A second battery hybrid powered expedition cruise ship – MS Fridtjof Nansen – will join the growing Hurtigruten fleet next spring. She is currently under construction at Norway’s Kleven Yard and is expected to be delivered well ahead of her April 2020 debut.

FOR MEDIA: Images and videos of MS Roald Amundsen – and the first ever Antarctica naming ceremony – can be found here:


Guests on board Ms Roald Amundsen. Photo: Shayne McGuire/Hurtigruten. 


MS Roald Amundsen

The world’s first hybrid powered cruise ship equipped with large battery packs and groundbreaking green technology.

Built: 2019 Kleven Yards, Norway
Named: 2019, Antarctica
Gross tonnage: 20.889
Length: 140 m
Width: 23,6 m
Draft: 5,5 m
Guests: 530 (500 in Antarctica)
Staterooms and suites: 265
Crew: 151
Cruising speed: 15 knots
Ice class: PC-6

On board facilities includes: A fully equipped Science Center, observation decks, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, wellness center, three restaurants, bars, Explorer Lounge, more than 50 % of cabins with private balconies.


Hurtigruten - World leader in exploration travel

Building on 125 years of Norwegian pioneering heritage, Hurtigruten is today the world's largest expedition cruise company.

Hurtigruten’s rapidly growing fleet of custom-build expedition ships takes modern-day adventure travellers to the world’s most spectacular destinations on our Planet - from the High North to Antarctica in the south.

Being the world leader in exploration travel comes with a great responsibility. Hurtigruten is enhancing destinations and runs an responsible, sustainable global operation. Read more about Hurtigruten's sustainability efforts here.

Hurtigruten is introducing the world’s first hybrid battery powered cruise ships, the MS Roald Amundsen (2019) and the MS Fridtjof Nansen (2020). 


Øystein Knoph

Øystein Knoph

Pressekontakt Head of Media Operations Hurtigruten +47 977 39 224
Pressevakt Hurtigruten

Pressevakt Hurtigruten

Pressekontakt Alle mediehenvendelser om Hurtigruten, rutetrafikken Bergen-Kirkenes og MS Trollfjord. Kontaktnummer for kundehenvendelser finnes her: https://www.hurtigruten.no/kontakt-oss/ (+47) 48 02 77 00 (kun for presse, ikke SMS)

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