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MS Roald Amundsen Review

Roald Amundsen (Photo: Hurtigruten)

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Sarah Holt
Cruise Critic Contributor

MS Roald Amundsen Overview

The world's first hybrid powered cruise ship, the MS Roald Amundsen, is named after the pioneering Norwegian-born polar explorer who led the first expedition to traverse the Northwest passage in 1911.

The 530-passenger vessel embarked on its maiden voyage from home port Tromso in Norway on July 3rd 2019.

The ship is the first of a new generation of greener Hurtigruten ships. The state-of-the-art vessel utilises battery power to help it cruise around the world. Its sister ship, the MS Fridtjof Nansen, is due to launch in 2020.

Here's what we know:

Cabins
Dining
Entertainment
Pools & Recreation
Itineraries

Cabins

There are six different types of suite and two main types of cabin on the MS Roald Amundsen. The design of each one is a nod to the ship's birthplace -- Norway. Inside you'll find calming colour schemes of granite greys, fawny browns and berry purples and superior quality natural materials such as beech, oak, slate and wool.

Every room features a sitting space close to the bed and nice-to-haves include a wine rack and a boot warmer – a white box with four hoses attached that can be inserted into boots to warm or dry them.

The bathrooms, meanwhile, come with Arctic Pure toiletries, scented with ingredients like sea buckthorn and birch.

Polar outside: There are no interior cabins on the MS Roald Amundsen. Instead, the most basic cabin you can book on the ship is a polar outside. These come with a double bed and television and you can upgrade to a slightly bigger polar outside that comes with around 20 square metres of space.

Balcony: 50 per cent of the cabins on MS Roald Amundsen come with a balcony. Known collectively as Arctic Superior cabins, they all feature tea and coffee making facilities and some of them are accessible.

Suites: All Roald Amundsen's Expedition Suites are located on the upper and mid decks, especially Deck 9, which is given over entirely to them. Options include a corner suite without a balcony, large suites with balconies and extra-large suites with or without balconies. The pearls in this oyster, however, are the corner suites with balconies that come with hot tubs.

Dining

The MS Roald Amundsen has a hat trick of restaurants. Two are included in the price of all trips, while the Lindstrom is only included for suite guests.

Aune: Named after the Norwegian ship chandler and polar expedition supplier Tinus Aune, this eatery has a look of Jamie's Italian to it. Floor-to-ceiling windows run along one side, while a strip of contemporary light grey leather booths runs along the other. Pantry-style shelving units featuring jars of preserved fruits and legumes create intimate sections in what would otherwise be quite a sweeping space.

Breakfast, lunch and both a buffet and set-menu dinner are served here every day. The menu can feature anything from beef bourguignon to Norwegian salmon.

Fredheim: With its bench seating and cantina-style colour scheme, Fredheim looks like it's been plucked from London's Covent Garden dining scene.

The menu here is built around street-food, so you'll find everything from Mexican tortillas and American burgers to Asian-inspired dumplings and diner-style shakes on offer. There's also a strong plant-based offering available, for vegetarians and vegans.

Lindstrom: Hurtigruten doesn't like to use the term fine dining, but essentially that's what the Lindstrom offers. Crushed velvet chairs circle and bookend the tables and there's artwork on the walls by Queen Sonja of Norway. The menu, meanwhile, features upper-crust ingredients such as king crab and Norwegian salmon.

Entertainment

The MS Roald Amundsen doesn't have a theatre or a cinema. Instead, passengers are encouraged to fill their leisure time soaking up the world around them.

The Science Centre: Located on Deck 6, the sophisticated Science Centre has been designed to encourage passengers to learn all about the landscapes they travel through. Museum-style glass display cases contain artefacts such as walrus skulls and narwhal horns. There are charts on the walls that explain things such as the differences between various types of whale. Plus, there are floor to ceiling LED screens where films and presentations are shown as part of the daily lecture programme.

The Science Centre is also the setting for citizen science projects. Run by experienced research scientists, these sessions give passengers the opportunity to do things like study krill through powerful polarised microscopes and to observe live specimens in tanks.

Observation Deck: The Roald Amundsen's two-level observation deck is spread across Deck 6 and 7. The lower level is encased in bullet proof glass, so passengers can watch the world go by even when it's hailing outside.  

The Explorer Lounge: Occupying almost half the ship on Deck 10, The Explorer Lounge features a cocktail bar and almost as many types of seats as IKEA. There are armchairs, tub chairs, recliners with footstools and reading lights next to them, and day-bed style loungers to name a few. Some are set around tables, others look out to sea through the floor to ceiling windows.

The cocktail menu features classic drinks alongside a selection of Aquavit-based tipples. Aquavit is typical Scandinavian firewater and options on the Explorer Lounge menu include Lysholm Linie, which has been produced since 1807.

Pools & Recreation

Pool deck: The pool deck on Deck 10 features a plush infinity pool. It's not big enough to swim laps in, but ideal for stewing in while you look out over the scenery. The water is flanked by two over-sized hot tubs and backed by a pool bar.

Sauna: Located on Deck 10, the huge sauna features floor-to-ceiling, entrance-to-exit windows and offers passengers stadium-style views of the landscapes outside.

Outdoor gym: A running track circles its way around the whole of Deck 11. There are two outdoor gym stations along the route. Looking like adult climbing frames they can be used for all sorts of push ups, pulls upsand other body weight bearing exercises. If you're not sure what to do, there's an instruction chart next to each one that details all the exercises that can be carried out on them.

Wellness area: Clad in beech and oak, the Wellness Area is a serene space on Deck 7. There's a gym with three running machines and a weights section. Plus, there are three massage rooms.

Itineraries

The MS Roald Amundsen will offer itineraries around the Norwegian Coast before it makes its way to Greenland, Iceland and over to the Chilean fjords and Antarctica.

 
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