Expedition cruise operator Hurtigruten has signed a memorandum of understanding with its Norwegian shipyard Kleven Verft for the construction of a third hybrid battery-powered expedition cruise ship.
The new order is part of agreement signed between Kleven and Hurtigruten in 2016 calling for the construction of two expedition-style cruise ships plus options for two additional vessels.
The new ship’s design, construction, engineering and advanced technology will be based on the first ships, now named MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, which are currently under construction at the Kleven Verft shipyard in Ulsteinvik, Norway.
The new vessels will have capacity for up to 530 guests and will be custom-built with an ice-strengthened hull to operate in some of the world’s harshest conditions, including Norwegian fjords, Antarctica, Iceland, Greenland, and the Arctic.
“We are thrilled to introduce yet another revolutionary hybrid powered expedition ship. This groundbreaking vessel will take our guests to some of the most spectacular areas of our planet, in a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly way than ever seen before,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
The third ship is expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2021 following delivery of the first two ships in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
The addition of the vessels will grow Hurtigruten fleet to 17 custom-built expedition ships.
In 2017, after Hurtigruten had placed its initial order, Kleven underwent an extensive restructuring that resulted in Hurtigruten acquiring 40% ownership in the Kleven Verft and certain other Kleven subsidiaries through its holding company KVE Holding. Hurtigruten earlier this year upped its stake in those assets to 100%.
Hurtigruten said it expects a shipbuilding contract to be signed for third vessel in the first quarter of 2019.