Norwegian exploration travel company Hurtigruten has named the first two new hybrid powered expedition ships Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen after the two most influential Norwegian polar pioneers.
The new ships have been designed by Rolls-Royce, in collaboration with the recognised Norwegian yacht designer Espen Øino, and are due to be delivered in 2018 and 2019.
There are also plans for an additional for two additional vessels.
“It is exactly 105 years since Roald Amundsen became the first person in the world to plant his flag on the South Pole; 128 years since Fridtjof Nansen skied across Greenland; and 120 years since Richard With, Hurtigruten’s founder, first started exploration tourism in the Arctic.
“What could be more natural and appropriate than to name our new ships after these inspiring trailblazers,” said Hurtigruten chief executive Daniel Skjeldam.
With the Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen, Hurtigruten also sets a new standard in interior design and on-board customer experience.
The aura of the period of the great exploration expeditions is to be recreated within the framework of modernity and premium quality and comfort.
The interior will mirror the breath-taking waters and landscapes where the expedition ships sail.
Materials will be predominantly Norwegian and inspired by nature and Scandinavian style with an innovative approach to the use of granite, oak and birch, and wool, amongst other materials.
The ships will have large observation platforms on several decks for guests to get up-close to nature and wildlife.
A majority of cabins will have their own balcony, whilst a small number will be suites.
The vessels will have three restaurants with menus inspired by local flavours and destinations. A special pool deck will include infinity pools, Jacuzzis and bars.
Skjeldam added: “These ground-breaking expedition ships will revolutionise adventure travel at sea. We are combining Hurtigruten’s more than 120-years know-how with cutting-edge technology and design, and a strong commitment to sustainability, to offer the modern-day adventure traveller unprecedented experience.”