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Fridtjof Nansen Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
8 reviews
MS Fridtjof Nansen  (Photo: Oscar Farrera/Hurtigruten)
Editor Rating
Very Good
Jeannine Williamson
Cruise Critic Contributor

Carrying a maximum of 530 passengers, MS Fridtjof Nansen is the second of Hurtigruten's purpose-built expedition vessels and is the near-identical twin sister of MS Roald Amundsen.

Built at the Kleven Verft shipyard in Norway, and with ultrastylish interiors, the 20,889-tonne vessel combines Scandi-cool comforts with a rugged, environmentally friendly vessel designed to primarily sail in Antarctica and Greenland. The battery hybrid-powered propulsion system saves up to 20 percent on fuel consumption.

Passengers will find a raft of green policies in place, such as no single-use plastics and a request to fill up water containers -- provided free -- from drink stations around the ship. There are recycling bins in all cabins and items such as hair dryer bags and some crew uniforms are made from recycled materials. There is the option to hang a "we stay green" sign outside the door to skip having your stateroom cleaned and towels washed. Additionally, there are opportunities to join beach cleans at ports of call.

The people that sail with Hurtigruten tend to be mature outdoor types with a keen interest in nature. They come from a variety of countries, including the U.K., mainland Europe and the U.S.

There are 265 outside cabins, half of them with balconies, and they come in three main categories. Some cabins have sofa beds to accommodate families and the largest suites have hot tubs. There are accessible cabins but no single cabins.

Aside from the Explorer Lounge, the main heart of the onboard experience is the Science Center, an edutainment venue where passengers and crew meet to create a deeper understanding of the areas explored. Depending on the sailing, the crew includes up to 22 knowledgeable expedition staff who mingle with passengers at mealtimes, host lectures and workshops and accompany shore expeditions, providing a very immersive experience in the destinations being visited.

MS Fridtjof Nansen has three restaurants, a lecture theatre, library, sauna, gym, spa, outdoor pool and hot tubs, and free Wi-Fi.


Exciting expedition sailings to remote areas with a superb enrichment programme


Minimal evening entertainment

Bottom Line

Expedition cruising with high levels of comfort


Passengers : 530
Crew : 154
Passenger to Crew : 3.44:1
Launched : 2020
Shore Excursions : 204


Included with your cruise fare:

  • Two restaurants
  • Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • 24/7 tea and coffee station
  • Daily excursions and onboard activities
  • Water and complimentary bottle
  • Gym and sauna
  • Expedition jacket
  • Loan of boots and trekking poles
  • Wi-Fi
  • Gratuities

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Dinner in the Lindstrom restaurant (free for suite passengers)
  • Bar drinks
  • Spa treatments
  • Optional excursions

Fellow Passengers

All passengers share a sense of discovery and many will eschew mainstream cruising on large ships. Some passengers are very well-travelled while others will be embarking on an expedition sailing for the first time. The main requirement is to have a sense of adventure and be reasonably fit for getting in and out of the Zodiacs used on excursions. They are a friendly crowd and happy to share tips on photography and chat about places they've visited. Although the ship has no facilities for children, and you are unlikely to see any on term-time expeditions, there are special sailings with activities for youngsters.

Onboard announcements on the ship are in English.

Fridtjof Nansen Dress Code

There is no dress code and the main benchmark is to pack outdoor all-weather gear -- thermal undergarments, thick socks, fleeces, hiking trousers, breathable layers, hats, gloves, scarves, sunglasses and so forth. Hurtigruten provides a high-performance expedition parka for passengers to keep and thermal boots to loan for the duration of the sailing.

There is no requirement to dress for dinner and many passengers don jeans, casual trousers and jumpers. Some smarten up a bit more, particularly for the Lindstrom restaurant which is complimentary for suite passengers and open to other passengers for a fee.

Although it is a Scandinavian tradition, going naked in the sauna is not allowed!

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More about Fridtjof Nansen

Where does Fridtjof Nansen sail from?

Fridtjof Nansen departs from Reykjavik, Lisbon, Ushuaia, Santiago (Valparaiso), Valparaiso, Buenos Aires, San Diego, Vancouver, Puerto Caldera, Hamburg, Callao, and Lima

How much does it cost to go on Fridtjof Nansen?

Cruises on Fridtjof Nansen start from $1,881 per person.
Fridtjof Nansen Cruiser Reviews

An exploration up the western Greenland coast from Iceland.

Fridtjof Nansen is an excellent ship being only a couple of years old.Read More
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2-5 Cruises

Age 60s

Bucket List Dreams Come True

Even though I had not requested a balcony cabin, I was given one (and it came in very handy when I tested positive for COVID towards the end of the voyage, allowing me to still feel connected to the expeditions going on right outside my balcony).The prices were reasonable for the overall trip and I would recommend anyone thinking about seeing Antarctica upclose and personal to hop aboard one of these ships.Read More
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2-5 Cruises

Age 60s

Take note other cruise lines

I’ve been on a lot of cruises and Hurtigruten is no doubt the best organised.No fuss on-shore expeditions in the world’s harshest environment.Read More
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10+ Cruises

Age 60s

When plans go astray

The expedition crew rapidly arranged a number of complimentary excursions during the days back in port.Starting in Valparaiso, Chile, the enthusiasm and knowledge of the expedition crew ensured an interesting, informative and engaging range of activities, workshops and discussions.Read More
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2-5 Cruises

Age 60s

Hurtigruten Fleet
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