Hurtigruten’s ships are about to get a makeover – and very nice it will be too.

Rather than create something very clinical the cruise line has opted for a warm and homely style that reflects its Scandinavian heritage.

The company is already refurbishing its latest expedition ship MS Spitsbergen, and a total of four of its coastal ships will receive an ‘Arctic interior’ makeover throughout 2016.

MS Polarlys will be the first ship to be refurbished in January 2016, during a 22-day programme of works. Upgrading of MS Kong Harald, MS Nordkapp and MS Nordnorge will then follow.

The ships will boast the modern Scandinavian interior designed to reflect the coastal landscapes of the Arctic. All common areas of the ships will see changes, including the reception areas, cafés, bistro areas, and the aft deck.

New, stylish restaurants will offer a modern Nordic feel. A range of fresh pastries baked onboard will be available, and new barbeque stands will appear out on deck.

Hurtigruten’s Chief Executive Officer Daniel Skjeldam said:

“We are a first mover company, and we are now reinventing the Hurtigruten experience. By combining tradition, innovation and sustainability, we aim to ensure the position as world leader in nature-based explorer travels in polar waters.”

Magnus Zetterberg, Managing Director of Hurtigruten UK, added:

“The interior will reflect the breath-taking coastal landscapes we sail past. We have made it stylish and yet unpretentious. The colours are earthy and from the coast and the sea. Many of the materials are natural, such as wood, slate and leather.”

MS Spitsbergen Gallery

Take a look at these images of MS Spitsbergen. Do you agree that these look like warm and cosy yet modern spaces in keeping with Hurtigruten’s Scandinavian history?

Facilities on MS Spitsbergen will be similar to those already offered across the fleet. The key noticeable difference will be the spacious suites that will come with private balconies and full height windows. These should be great private spaces to observe the Northern Lights or Midnight Sun.

MS Spitsbergen will sail as an additional ship on the Norwegian coastal route next summer operating a new cruise concept.

For the first few months of operation, MS Spitsbergen will follow a parallel course alongside MS Lofoten. The key difference will be that MS Spitsbergen will not stop overnight, leaving her more time to spend in selected ports during the daylight hours. All of the regular excursions such as RIB boat rides, whale watching, horse-riding and sea eagle safaris will all be on offer.

MS Spitsbergen will then officially take the place of MS Midnatsol in autumn 2016, which is heading south to Antarctica for the winter season. From this point onwards MS Spitsbergen shall operate under the traditional Hurtigruten schedule as a working ship.

Her refurbishment at the Norwegian Fosen Yard shall be completed in time for her maiden voyage under the Hurtigruten brand on 8 May 2016.

Where would you most like to see MS Spitsbergen sail in the future? Let me know your ideas in the comments below.

(Photo credits to Hurtigruten; Tor Farstad)

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