Hurtigruten has announced a year-round programme of voyages departing Dover from mid-March next year.
The Norwegian operator will sail four expedition cruises, on sale from 20 June – although prices have not yet been released.
The line said it had followed guidelines recommended by the Norwegian government and built on existing protocols to introduce additional practices for “safe, sustainable and enjoyable expedition cruising”.
Maud – a small expedition ship with a 500-passenger capacity will be freshly refurbished prior to its arrival in Dover. It goes into the refurb project as the currently in-service Midnatsol.
Maud will have all new public areas. “Natural Scandinavian materials” will be used to bring the great outdoors inside – Scandinavian wool, pine, birch, oak, and granite.
Three new restaurants will be introduced – Aune, the main restaurant; Fredheim, for casual international dining; and Lindstrom, a fine dining restaurant.
In the recent past Midnatsol has been in service in Antarctica, “where it was heralded as the blueprint for modern expedition cruising” – most significantly, the tender pits and purpose-built platforms used to launch its fleet of expedition boats for landings and local exploration. These will be in use regularly.
The four itineraries are Norway’s winter fjords and the Northern Lights – 15-day voyages visiting Norway’s southern fjords and Arctic North; Summertime in Norway’s fjords and her islands – 15-day voyages along the Norwegian coast, known to be one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world; The British Isles – a 13-day expedition cruise visiting remote islands off the British coast; and Southern Scandinavia – a 15-day voyage offers expedition, culture, wildlife and nature, combined with urban exploration.
"We are thrilled to present expedition cruises from Dover year-round," said Anthony Daniels, general manager, Hurtigruten UK & Ireland. "It is a needed boost for the UK cruise industry at this time, and is especially important to showcase how expedition cruising differs from mainstream ‘big white ship’ cruising."
You can pre-register an interest here.