Hurtigruten to double Antarctica capacity in 2016-2017 season

Midnastol and Fram will both offer multiple departures to the polar region from September 2016 to April 2017
Hurtigruten to double Antarctica capacity in 2016-2017 season
Fram will continue to offer more than 40 landings in Antarctica

By Rebecca Gibson |

Hurtigruten’s Midnastol is to sail in Antarctica between September 2016 and April 2017, doubling the line’s capacity in the region.

Midnatsol, which currently operates on Hurtigruten’s Norwegian coastal route, will offer ten departures from Punta Arenas in Chile and sail to the Chilean Fjords, the Strait of Magellan & Cape Horn and Antarctica. Able to accommodate 500 passengers, Midnastol will be the largest passenger vessel to offer landings in the region next year.

Although Midnatsol will undergo some enhancements prior to arriving in Antarctica, the ship is already well equipped to sail in the polar regions as she has ice class 1C certification, a helipad, a redundant propulsion system and will be equipped with a customised oil retention system.

Guests will be able to enjoy various onshore and onboard activities including a new interactive science laboratory programme where they can participate in field experiments and attend a series of onboard lectures presented by a team of experts. They can also enjoy film and photography workshops, wine-tasting sessions, barbecues and polar film festivals. In addition, Hurtigruten will offer its first ‘Young Explorers’ programme, which is aimed at teenagers.

“This is an important strategic choice for Hurtigruten,” said Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten. “We are positioning 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.”

Meanwhile, Fram will continue to operate from Ushuaia sailing to the Falkland Islands and South Orkney Islands from September 2016. Offering more adult-focused programmes, the ship will visit 40 landing sites in Antarctica. Guests will be able to enjoy more challenging and extreme excursions than those on Midnatsol, such as longer and harder hikes and a new skiing expedition across the Antarctica Peninsula.

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