4 Hurtigruten Newbuilds developed by Rolls Royce and designed by Espen Øino

First Look: Roald Amundsen

The newest Norwegian expedition vessel has just been delivered.

Hurtigruten started life out in 1893 running mail, cargo, and passengers between remote Norwegian villages. Since then they’ve changed their name from Norwegian Coastal Voyages to Hurtigruten (Norwegian for ‘Fast route’).

They’ve always slowly been adding to the fleet. Recent additions include the Midnatsol in 2003 and Spitsbergen in 2009. These were more purposely designed for cruise service. The Fram, delivered in 2007, was their first expedition vessel.

Now they have just taken ownership of their next iteration of expedition vessels, the Roald Amundsen. She represents the first in a new class of ships. The Roald Amundsen is also the first hybrid passenger vessel ever. Fully capable of running off of battery, the ship theoretically can be a zero-emission vessel. Rolls-Royce Maritime (now Kongsberg) were tasked with developing the platform. This brand new technology led to complications during install which, coupled with the down turn in the shipbuilding market in Norway, led to a hefty delay in her, and her sisters, launch.

Since building ships in Norway can be a costly adventure, her hull and superstructure were built in Poland. She was then floated out and towed to Kleven in Norway where all the electronics, some more machinery, and furnishings were all installed.

She’s the first in the class, so let’s take a detailed look at the ship.


As an expedition vessel designed for the harsh environments first and foremost, she features a slightly higher freeboard. The bottom-most deck, actually the second deck above the waterline, contains the expedition launch area. This is where guests suit up and prepare to board the zodiacs for trips to remote beaches and islands.

Decks 4 and 5 are all outside passenger cabins. There’s a very tall atrium that features a gigantic LED screen,

Deck 6 contains some public areas. At the very front is a sheltered observation deck.

Past that, inside, is the Amundsen Science Center. This is where guests can learn and take part in lectures and presentations about their expedition and destination.

Past that is the library and reception area. And then past that are two restaurants. Fredheim restaurant which is a more casual bistro with a buffet at certain hours.

Aune main restaurant.

Deck 7 contains the top part of the bow observation area. Since she’s going to be in rough waters potentially, they took the opportunity to extend the bow as high up as possible.

Past that are balcony cabins in the front part.

Amidships is the Gym facilities.

The stern part are also more balcony cabins. The very aft cabins on this ship are the Grand Suites featuring a jacuzzi. (Imagine sailing to Antarctica and enjoying one of those on your balcony!)

Deck 8 feature more balcony cabins with suites fore and aft.

Deck 9 has the bridge at the forward part and balcony cabins aft of that. Amidships is the Lindstrøm specialty restaurant.

Deck 10 features the large Explorers observation lounge forward and mid section.

A small infinity pool with hot tubs are aft on the ship. This is a pretty striking feature that sets expedition vessels apart. Whereas a typical cruise ship with still put a pool amidships with the sundeck that surrounds it, expedition ships forgo this in favor of a small pool aft, or use it as a even a storage for toys and helipad. 

Deck 11 is all outdoors. It features a running track forward, an outdoor fitness area amidships and an observation area aft.

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Here’s also what her cabins look like: