Hurtigruten Expeditions Cruises Review: Cruise Ship Guide, Itineraries, Bookings, Deals & Promotions

Hurtigruten Expeditions stands as a beacon of exploration and adventure, offering travelers the opportunity to embark on unforgettable journeys to some of the world’s most remote and captivating destinations. With a fleet of state-of-the-art expedition ships equipped to navigate the polar regions and beyond, Hurtigruten Expeditions delivers an unparalleled experience for those seeking to immerse themselves in the wonders of nature and culture. At the heart of the Hurtigruten experience is a deep respect for the natural world and a commitment to sustainable travel practices. The expedition ships are designed with sustainability in mind, utilizing innovative technologies to minimize their environmental impact while maximizing comfort and safety for guests. From advanced propulsion systems to waste management solutions, Hurtigruten sets the standard for eco-friendly cruising, allowing guests to explore the planet’s most fragile ecosystems with minimal disturbance.

In a Nutshell…

  1. MS Fram: Originally inspired by the legendary explorer ship Fram, today’s MS Fram boasts advanced technology and comfort for modern expedition cruising. It was fully upgraded in 2022 and can accommodate up to 250 passengers.
  2. MS Fridtjof Nansen: The next-generation expedition ship, MS Fridtjof Nansen, explores some of the globe’s most spectacular corners. With a capacity of 530 passengers, it combines exploration, discovery, and premium relaxation.
  3. MS Maud: Formerly known as MS Midnatsol, the MS Maud is well-suited for expedition cruising. Built in 2003, it can accommodate up to 570 passengers and offers immersive experiences in remote destinations.
  4. MS Roald Amundsen: Launched in 2019, MS Roald Amundsen features state-of-the-art hybrid technology, reducing fuel consumption and showcasing the feasibility of large ships with hybrid propulsion. It accommodates 530 passengers.
  5. MS Santa Cruz II: Exploring the Galápagos Islands aboard the MS Santa Cruz II provides a cozy yet classy environment. With a maximum capacity of 90 guests, it offers a relaxed atmosphere in high-quality surroundings.
  6. MS Spitsbergen: This ship takes you beyond the ordinary, offering voyages to unique destinations. After refurbishment in 2016, it can accommodate up to 220 passengers for unforgettable explorations.
  7. Cleaner and Greener: Hurtigruten Expeditions aims to operate its ships emissions-free. They stopped using heavy fuel oil over a decade ago and were pioneers in removing single-use plastic from all their vessels.
  8. Exploration Heritage: All Hurtigruten ships are named after legends from the Golden Age of polar exploration. The company traces its roots back to great polar heroes and continues their legacy.
  9. Passion for Science: The Science Center on these ships features high-tech equipment, a library, and interactive screens where the Expedition Team shares their deep knowledge of nature with passengers.
  10. Voyage Beyond the Ordinary: Whether in the Arctic, Antarctica, or other destinations, Hurtigruten Expeditions ships create unforgettable journeys for discerning explorers.

The Fleet of Hurtigruten Cruises

The fleet of Hurtigruten Expeditions ships is a testament to the company’s commitment to providing exceptional expedition cruises in some of the world’s most breathtaking and remote destinations. With a focus on sustainability, comfort, and immersive experiences, each ship in the fleet offers a unique and unforgettable adventure for discerning travelers.

One of the standout features of the Hurtigruten Expeditions fleet is its small ship size. Unlike traditional large cruise ships, the expedition vessels are designed to navigate narrow fjords, remote waterways, and pristine coastlines with ease. This allows guests to access hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path destinations that are inaccessible to larger vessels, providing a truly authentic and intimate exploration experience.

The expedition ships are purpose-built to withstand harsh Arctic and Antarctic conditions while ensuring passenger comfort. They are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and safety features, including ice-strengthened hulls and advanced navigation systems. Guests can rest assured knowing that they are traveling on ships that prioritize safety and are capable of navigating challenging environments.

Each ship in the fleet boasts modern and stylish interiors, combining Scandinavian design with comfortable amenities. The cabins are thoughtfully appointed, providing a cozy retreat for guests to relax and recharge after a day of exploration. From comfortable beds to private en-suite bathrooms and ample storage space, the cabins offer the perfect sanctuary for guests to unwind and enjoy the scenic views.

When it comes to dining, the fleet of Hurtigruten Expeditions ships offers a culinary experience that showcases local and sustainable ingredients. The onboard restaurants serve a variety of delicious dishes inspired by the regions visited, allowing guests to savor the flavors of the destinations. From fresh seafood to locally sourced produce, the culinary offerings reflect the commitment to sustainability and the celebration of local cuisine.

The expedition ships also feature a range of amenities and facilities that cater to the needs and interests of the guests. The observation lounges provide panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural world. The lecture halls and libraries offer opportunities for educational enrichment, where expert guides and lecturers provide insights into the destinations visited. Additionally, the expedition teams onboard organize a variety of activities, such as wildlife spotting, hiking, kayaking, and even polar plunges, ensuring that there is never a dull moment during the voyage.

The commitment to sustainability is a core value of Hurtigruten Expeditions, and the fleet reflects this dedication. The ships are equipped with advanced environmental technologies, such as hybrid propulsion systems and shore power connectivity, reducing emissions and minimizing their impact on the fragile ecosystems visited. The expedition teams also prioritize responsible travel practices, ensuring that guests have a minimal footprint and leave only positive memories behind.

The fleet of Hurtigruten Expeditions ships offers a range of itineraries, allowing guests to explore some of the most captivating destinations on the planet. From the Arctic regions of Norway and Greenland to the Antarctic Peninsula and the remote islands of the South Pacific, the ships provide an opportunity to discover the wonders of nature up close. The knowledgeable expedition teams guide guests through these remarkable landscapes, sharing their expertise and passion for the destinations.

The fleet of Hurtigruten Expeditions ships represents the pinnacle of expedition cruising. With their small size, modern amenities, and commitment to sustainability, the ships offer a unique and immersive experience for travelers seeking extraordinary adventures. From the comfortable cabins to the exceptional dining options and the enriching activities, each ship in the fleet ensures that guests have an unforgettable journey through some of the world’s most awe-inspiring destinations.

MS Roald Amundsen

The MS Roald Amundsen is named after the legendary explorer who achieved remarkable feats during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Let’s delve into what makes this ship stand out:

  1. Colossal and Stylish: Built in 2019, the 11-deck, 20,890-ton vessel can accommodate 530 passengers (500 in Antarctica, adhering to IAATO regulations). Its interior design embraces the Scandinavian concept of hygge, combining comfort and coziness with granite, birch, and pale wood finishes. Soft woolen blankets in the cabins add to the warmth.
  2. Features Tailored for Expeditions:
    • Science Center: A state-of-the-art hub for learning and discovery.
    • Inflatable Boats and Kayaks: Essential for exploring remote areas.
    • Spacious Mud Room: Convenient for gearing up before excursions.
    • PC6 Ice-Class Designation: Enables navigation through polar sea ice.
  3. Elegance and Comfort:
    • Three Restaurants: Culinary delights await.
    • Sauna and Infinity Pool: Perfect for relaxation.
    • Exploration Lounge: Balances comfort and panoramic views.
  4. Environmental Consciousness:
    • Battery Power: Enormous battery banks reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by around 20%.
    • Quiet Operation: Dynamic positioning system avoids disturbing passengers and marine life with anchor clanking.
    • No Single-Use Plastic: The ship is committed to sustainability.
  5. Hybrid Experience:
    • Deck 6: The heart of the ship, housing the Science Center.
    • LED Screen: A towering 57-foot display in the atrium.
    • Expedition Landings: Coordinated in rotating groups, balancing efficiency with exploration.

See the Full Review of the MS Roald Amundsen)

Best Destinations of Hurtigruten Cruises

  1. Alaska: Embark on an expedition cruise to Alaska, where rugged wilderness meets majestic scenery. Witness iconic wildlife against a backdrop of icy fjords and snow-capped mountains. Explore charming coastal towns and immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of this northern wonder.
  2. Antarctica: Set foot on the frozen continent and discover its enchanting landscapes. From snowy mountains to massive icebergs and glaciers, Antarctica offers a surreal experience. Small boat cruises allow you to get up close to charming wildlife, including penguins and seals.
  3. British Isles: Sail through the British Isles, where rugged English cliffs, remote Scottish islands, and historic Irish cities await. Explore ancient castles, delve into rich cultural heritage, and soak in the scenic beauty of this diverse region.
  4. Caribbean & Central America: From verdant volcanic peaks to crystal-clear waters, the Caribbean and Central America offer a tropical paradise. Visit Mayan temples, encounter exotic wildlife, and explore vibrant cultures in this sun-kissed corner of the world.
  5. Europe: Discover the rich history and picturesque landscapes of Europe. From the legendary fjords of Norway to the magic of Northern Africa, explore hidden gems, ancient cities, and iconic coastlines. Small-group cruises provide an active way to experience Europe’s wonders.
  6. Galápagos Islands: Step into the wild beauty of the Galápagos Islands, where volcanic scenery and tame wildlife coexist. Little has changed since Charles Darwin’s visit in 1835. Encounter giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, and unique ecosystems.
  7. Greenland: Pristine, peaceful, and awe-inspiring—Greenland offers pale blue glacial ice, lush valleys, and Arctic tundra. Look out for Arctic foxes and polar bears as you explore this vast land of natural wonders.
  8. Iceland: Sail along Iceland’s seismic coastline, where hikes, small boat cruises, and shore excursions reveal the country’s dramatic landscapes. Discover tight-knit communities, historical landmarks, and the power of geothermal wonders.
  9. North America: Explore colorful coastal cities, charming towns, and breathtaking national parks along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America. Immerse yourself in diverse cultures and natural beauty.
  10. Northwest Passage & Arctic Canada: Trace the footsteps of great explorers as you navigate the Northwest Passage. Witness the icy maze that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Explore Arctic wilderness, encounter wildlife, and relive the spirit of adventuring.

The History of Hurtigruten Cruises

Hurtigruten, a name synonymous with Norwegian coastal voyages, boasts a rich history intertwined with the evolution of its expedition ships. Here’s a glimpse into this legacy:

Early Endeavors (1893-1950s):

  • Humble Beginnings: Hurtigruten’s story starts in 1893 with the steam-powered DS Vesteraalen. This vessel undertook the inaugural mail and passenger service along Norway’s breathtaking coastline. These early ships were workhorses, prioritizing functionality and reliability for navigating the often-harsh northern waters.
  • Post-War Growth: The mid-20th century saw an expansion of Hurtigruten’s fleet. Ships like MS Nordstjernen and MS Lofoten, launched in the 1950s, offered improved passenger amenities while retaining their focus on safe and efficient coastal travel.

Embracing Exploration (1960s-1980s):

  • Expanding Horizons: As interest in adventure travel grew, Hurtigruten began venturing beyond the Norwegian coast. Ships like MS Midnatsol, introduced in the 1960s, undertook voyages to Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago near the Arctic Ocean. This marked a shift towards expedition cruising, while still maintaining the core coastal service.
  • Designed for Exploration: Ships built in the 1970s and 1980s, like MS Trollfjord, reflected this growing expedition focus. These vessels featured strengthened hulls for navigating icy waters and improved passenger areas for viewing wildlife and scenery.

Modern Era of Expedition Cruising (1990s-Present):

  • A New Era: The 1990s ushered in a new era of purpose-built expedition ships. MS Fram, launched in 2007, exemplified this shift. Featuring ice-strengthened hulls, advanced navigation technology, and Zodiac landing craft, MS Fram embarked on voyages to remote polar regions.
  • Commitment to Sustainability: Environmental consciousness became a priority in the 21st century. Ships like MS Spitsbergen, launched in 2016, incorporated innovative technology to reduce emissions and minimize environmental impact.

The Legacy Continues:

Hurtigruten’s expedition ships continue to evolve, reflecting advancements in technology, passenger comfort, and sustainable practices. From the humble beginnings of coastal steamers to modern icebreakers exploring polar regions, Hurtigruten’s fleet embodies a rich history of exploration and discovery.

Focus on Exploration:

It’s important to note that while Hurtigruten’s history is linked to its ships, the core focus has always been on exploration. These vessels have served as the tools that have allowed Hurtigruten to introduce countless travelers to the wonders of Norway’s coastline and remote polar regions.


The expedition ships themselves are marvels of modern engineering, combining cutting-edge design with the latest in maritime technology to ensure a smooth and comfortable voyage in even the most challenging conditions. With ice-strengthened hulls and powerful engines, these vessels are built to withstand the rigors of polar exploration while providing guests with a luxurious and immersive onboard experience.

Accommodations aboard Hurtigruten’s expedition ships are spacious, stylish, and thoughtfully appointed, offering guests a cozy retreat after a day of exploration. Whether staying in a comfortable cabin or an elegant suite with panoramic views, guests can expect modern amenities, plush furnishings, and attentive service from the ship’s dedicated crew.

Dining onboard Hurtigruten’s expedition ships is a culinary adventure in itself, with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and innovative Nordic cuisine. From gourmet tasting menus inspired by the flavors of the region to hearty comfort food classics, guests can savor a variety of delicious dishes prepared by talented chefs using the finest seasonal produce.

One of the highlights of a Hurtigruten expedition is the opportunity to participate in a wide range of immersive and educational activities led by expert expedition teams. From guided nature hikes and wildlife watching excursions to informative lectures and workshops, guests have the chance to deepen their understanding of the destinations they visit and gain insight into the unique ecosystems and cultures of the polar regions.

Service aboard Hurtigruten’s expedition ships is warm, welcoming, and attentive, with a dedicated crew committed to ensuring that guests have a memorable and enjoyable experience from start to finish. From the moment guests step onboard, they are greeted with genuine hospitality and a sense of camaraderie, creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for travelers of all ages and backgrounds.

In addition to its exceptional onboard amenities and activities, Hurtigruten also offers a range of customizable expedition packages designed to suit every traveler’s interests and preferences. Whether seeking a thrilling polar adventure or a cultural immersion experience in a remote corner of the world, Hurtigruten has an expedition itinerary to match.

In conclusion, Hurtigruten Expeditions offers travelers a unique opportunity to explore the world’s most remote and captivating destinations in comfort and style. With its commitment to sustainability, innovative expedition ships, and immersive onboard experiences, Hurtigruten sets the standard for adventure travel and eco-conscious cruising. Whether embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage to Antarctica or discovering the hidden treasures of the Arctic, guests can expect an unforgettable journey with Hurtigruten Expeditions.

– Article by Contributing Author Silvester Thomson

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N.B. – The information on this review has been compiled by contributing author and Cruise Expert Silvester Thomson for and is provided “as is” for the convenience of online readers. The Sources come from personal opinions, online research on official and unofficial websites, and in some cases with the help of AI generated content. It should not be taken as fact, as it can be mistaken or altered by future ship modifications from the cruise line done after review. does not and cannot verify all information and should not be taken as granted fact. All readers must take measures to find reliable facts by their travel agent or from the official page of the cruise line to verify any doubts.

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