Hurtigruten repositions brand to focus on expedition and families

Hurtigruten repositions brand to focus on expedition and families

Hurtigruten is bolstering its expedition offering by basing a second ship in the Antarctica.

The line is moving its 500-passenger ship Midnatsol (pictured), which is currently operating along the Norwegian coast, to Antarctica from September 2016.

Midnatsol will operate alongside the line’s one existing expedition ship, Fram.

The additional vessel means the line’s berth capacity in Antarctica will grow from 250 to 700, with the total seasonal capacity increasing from 2,268 in the 2015/16 season to 6,800 in 2016/17.

Fram will continue to sail from Ushuaia, while Midnatsol, which will be the largest ship to offer landings in Antarctica, will sail from Punta Arenas to the Chilean Fjords, Strait of Magellan and Cape Horn

Cecilia Abert, UK managing director of the line, said the new ship would widen Hurtigruten’s appeal and help the line attract a younger audience.

The changes on board Midnatsol, including a new Young Explorers programme, mean that for the first time the line will be actively targeting families.

Abert said: “We’re very excited about Midnatsol and we’re offering two very different propositions with Midnatsol and Fram.

“We are positioning Fram for hardcore explorers and more adventurous travellers, whereas Midnatsol will be a softer kind of discovery and exploration. This definitely widens our appeal and the markets we can attract.

“We are repositioning the brand to make it a lot clearer that we are the number one when it comes to exploration cruising.

"We’re going in a new direction and we’re definitely putting a lot more focus on the exploration side of things.”

The ship will have its own science lab where guests can take part in experiments or listen to lectures from onboard scientists.

The ship will undergo some adjustments prior to the Antarctica sailings, but is already well equipped for polar operations. The ship has an ice class 1C, helipad and a redundant propulsion system.

Daniel Skjeldam, chief executive of Hurtigruten, said: “This is an important strategic choice for Hurtigruten.

"We are repositioning ourselves even stronger in the growing exploration market. The company is a leading, responsible player in sustainable travel.

"With the modern and flexible Midnatsol we meet the growing global demand for active nature-based experiences with an attractive product.”

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