MS Spitsbergen

(10:35 a.m. EST) -- Norway-based adventure cruise line Hurtigruten has revealed its largest and most diverse selection ever of itineraries for 2019/2020, including the Northwest Passage and Franz Josef Land in Russia.

A number of the journeys will take place on Hurtigruten's new hybrid ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, which launch in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

The ships are the world's first-ever hybrid electric-diesel power cruise vessels and will be able to sail with solely electric propulsion for up to 30 minutes, to allow for absolutely silent cruising in sensitive areas. The ships herald a greener, more sustainable form of cruising and are a first for the industry as a whole.

"Honouring our explorer heritage, we are constantly seeking new waters to explore. With our new ships and new itineraries, Hurtigruten is setting a new global standard for exploration travel to the polar edges of the world -- and to new frontiers," said Hurtigruten chief executive Daniel Skjeldam.

Highlights of the itineraries include:

  • The world's first full traverse of the Northwest Passage on a hybrid-powered ship, MS Roald Amundsen
  • Hurtigruten's northernmost expedition ever exploring the wild and rarely-visited Franz Josef Land in Russia, well north of the 80th parallel and 600 miles from the North Pole, on MS Spitsbergen, which launched last year
  • Voyages on MS Fridtjof Nansen from Amsterdam to the Norwegian coast, via Bjørnøya, to Longyearbyen, Svalbard -- or the reverse itinerary
  • Norwegian coastal voyages which include the UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, the Lofoten Islands and tiny fishing villages, on MS Roald Amundsen. Embarking and disembarking in Hamburg, Germany
  • Eight South American voyages with extended experiences at destinations such as the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu

Hurtigruten has been plying the Norwegian coast from Bergen to Spitsbergen for almost 125 years providing a service to isolated villages along the way, as well as offering voyages to the high Arctic and Antarctica.

--By Adam Coulter, Managing Editor, U.K.