Hurtigruten is to expand Alaska sailings in 2020 by deploying new hybrid-powered MS Roald Amundsen in the region.

The Norwegian expedition cruise specialist will run a series of seven voyages covering the highlights of the Inside Passage combined with off the beaten path destinations rarely visited by other cruise lines such as Petersburg.

Hurtigruten, which has two Alaska sailings in 2019, will introduce the first hybrid-powered cruise ship into the area the following year.

MS Roald Amundsen, equipped with large battery packs, will feature innovative green technology.

Itineraries on the 500-passenger vessel will include Hurtigruten’s expedition team consisting of geologists, biologists, geographers, historians and activity guides.

MS Roald Amundsen will conclude its 2020 Alaska season by navigating a North West Passage transit from Nome, via Greenland to Halifax.

CEO Daniel Skjeldam said: “Alaska is a perfect fit for Hurtigruten and our expedition cruise concept.

“We will go where the big ships can’t, taking you far beyond the ordinary while exploring the true beauty of Alaska.

“Imagine kayaking in pristine waters, hiking through untouched wilderness and spotting bears, whales, caribou or eagles. And then returning to the comfort of a cruise ship you know is greener than any other ship you have experienced. This is the unparalleled Alaska experience Hurtigruten will offer you.”

The entry into Alaska forms part of the company’s 2020-21 Explorer programme covering more than 250 destinations and the first season of hybrid powered MS
Fridtjof Nansen – sister ship to MS Roald Amundsen – sailing in Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland and the Norwegian coast.

The programme also includes Russia and Franz Josef Land, Svalbard expeditions, warm water cruises to the Caribbean, and several South and Central America voyages, including Mexico and Baja California.

The 2020-21 programme will include gratuities, drinks with lunch/dinner, and one activity per day – ranging from city tours to hikes – for the first time. Other excursions will still attract a charge.

Hurtigruten UK general manager Anthony Daniels said: “We have made it more of an appealing programme for the trade. We’re not marketing it as all-inclusive, but it is more inclusive.

“For Alaska and South America, even though they are what we would class as traditional cruise destinations, with us, they’re not.

“We will see ports of call and places that aren’t offered by any other brands.

“Our voyages in Alaska are 12 to 14 nights, they’re more immersive, and we’re going to places that big ships don’t go.

“We don’t just appeal to cruise clients.”

Skjeldam added: “Since Hurtigruten started operations in polar waters in 1893, we have been looking for new places to explore.

“Each and every one of our 250 destinations has been carefully handpicked by our team to give you unforgettable wilderness experiences in some of the most spectacular places on earth.”

Sample prices start at £5,183 per person for an 18-day Alaska and British Colombia – Inside Passage, Bears and Aleutian Islands itinerary departing on August 1, 2020.