(10:25 a.m.) Update: Norwegian Coastal Voyage's Fram was launched this weekend, and we've just got news that a godmother has been named ... the Crown Princess Mette Marit of Norway. She will officially name the ship during its christening on May 19, 2007 in Oslo.
Norwegian Coastal Voyage's 12,700-ton, 136-cabin new-build may be considered small, but on Saturday morning (November 18) Fram will take a big step toward its completion. The ship will be floated out at Fincantieri's Trieste shipyard in Italy.
"Float out" is a shipyard term that refers to the process by which the building dock is slowly filled with water until the ship is afloat. The ship is then pulled by a tug boat to the outfitting dock where interior construction begins.
Fram's exterior was specifically designed to brave the Arctic cold ... but interior amenities are also state-of-the-art (for an expedition ship), including a fitness room, sauna and two Jacuzzis. A restaurant, Internet cafe, two bars, conference rooms and a library filled with books on the polar region round out the public and social spaces.
Fram is expected to be delivered on April, 20, 2007, then christened on May 19, 2007 in Oslo. She will be part of the fleet's Expedition Cruises program launched this past June. Her summer months will be spent sailing three different Greenland itineraries through November, before undertaking a 66-night pole-to-pole cruise to Antarctica and South America. Once there, the ship will sail 13-night itineraries from Chile to Antarctica.
Can't wait to board the ship? Norwegian Coastal Voyage is already booking trips to Greenland with a savings of up to $300 per person.
Fun Fact: NCV's Fram was named after a wooden ship used by Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen in the late 1800's for a three-year expedition around Greenland.
--by Erica Sapio, Assistant Editor
Photo appears courtesy of Norwegian Coastal Voyage.
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NCV Floats Out Fram This Weekend
November 20, 2006