(11:49 a.m. BST) -- Norway-based cruise line Hurtigruten will make Dover a home port for the very first time from March 2021.

The cruise-expedition-ferry operator -- which last year announced MS Maud (currently sailing as MS Midnatsol) will be based in Dover from October 2021 -- will offer four expedition itineraries from the port.

The 500-passenger ship will offer 15-day voyages to Norway and the high Arctic in the summer and winter; round-Britain cruises and southern Scandinavia voyages.

"We are thrilled to present expedition cruises from Dover year-round. It is a needed boost for the UK cruise industry at this time, and is especially important to showcase how expedition cruising differs from mainstream cruising," said Anthony Daniels, General Manager, Hurtigruten UK & Ireland

"These sustainable new itineraries visit off-the-beaten-track waters, coastlines and islands; they are brim-full of unique experiences and destinations rarely visited."

MS Maud is currently sailing as MS Midnatsol, but will be completely refurbished before heading to Dover.

The multi-million pound project will see all public areas; three new restaurants will be introduced -- Aune, the main restaurant; Fredheim, for casual international dining; and Lindstrom, a fine dining restaurant.

Hurtigruten is set to restart a full service of coastal voyage cruising next Tuesday -- the first ocean cruise line to do so -- on MS Finnmarken from Bergen.