Last year in 2019, I had the pleasure and chance of participating in a ship tour of Hurtigruten’s MS Roald Amundsen, the first ever Hybrid Expedition Ship in the world.
It is the most environmental friendly and sustainable expedition ship there is right now, with the exception of MS Fridtjof Nansen, her sister ship of course.
The use of hybrid technology reduces fuel consumption as well as CO2-emissions by 20 percent and allows the ship to glide through the waters soundlessly for a period of time through the use of electric propulsion.
It basically works more or less in the same way as a hybrid car, but on a much bigger scale and in a more complicated way.
The ship is named after the famous Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen, who was the first man to cross Antarctica and reach the South Pole.
In this post I want to show you some of the public areas and spaces on MS Roald Amundsen. This ship is possibly the best in terms of style, look, feel and design I have ever seen. I really love it. Pictures do not do it justice.
The Science Center is the heart of the ship. This is where guests will spend a lot of their time on board listening to lectures presented by the skilled Expedition Team, observing life specimens for instance sea weed under the state of the art microscopes and participating in workshops.
The Science Center is one of the best spaces in the ship and the perfect setting for learning and engaging. Besides the high tec equipment, there is also a collection of furs, shells, replicas of skulls and much more to really bring the environment, nature and wildlife closer to guests.
After a day filled with new adventures and discoveries, guests can sit and relax in the Explorer Lounge. I love this space. There are electric fire places that give this area a feeling of coziness and many chairs come with footstools for guests that are perfect to put up their tired feet.
The big, wide open windows bring in much light and allow guests to watch the scenery and outside.
The Observation Deck is a two-level area where guests can stay to watch and observe their surroundings.
The Observation Deck on the upper floor is an outdoor area whereas the space on the lower floor is an indoor area covered by glass that allows guests to watch the scenery shielded from the wind and bad weather.
There is also a working station/table that the Expedition Team can use for demonstrations and educational talks.
The LED Screen is simply amazing. It is situated in the Atrium and spans over seven decks. It is the tallest LED screen at sea.
Throughout the voyage images and video clips change and show other ships and destinations that Hurtigruten sails too.
I tried to take a good picture of it, but it is simply ginormous. The resolution is beyond 4K Ultra-HD and I could just stand there all day long watching all the different videos and images as they are marvelous.
There are three restaurants on board, which are all inspired by Norwegian heritage.
Aune is the main dining room where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served in the form of buffets and menus. The name honours a family of ship chandlers that supplied polar explorers. Breakfast and lunch are typically a buffet. Dinner however can be either a buffet or a menu consisting of three to five courses.
Again, the big windows throughout the dining room allow for lots of natural sunlight to come in for guests to watch outside, while they are enjoying their meal.
Imagine having breakfast while cruising in Antarctica and watching the icebergs float by.
Fredheim is known for serving casual and international food such burgers, kebabs or steamed dumplings and is designed for people to hang out during the day and come together for a chat.
Here you can also get some snacks or a cup of coffee to fuel up after your expedition or while you are waiting for your next meal. Or simply if you feel a bit peckish.
It draws its name from the the famous trapper cabin in Svalbard, that people can still rent out. It is still known today as one of the most comfortable trapper cabins in Svalbard, possibly even the most comfortable.
The third dining room is Lindstrøm, but I completely missed this restaurant. Therefore, I have no pictures for this unfortunately.
Lindstrøm is the speciality restaurant on board MS Roald Amundsen and named after Adolf Lindstrø. He was the preferred chef of Norwegian polar explorers.
Many of the Hurtigruten ships have an onboard gym, but the one on MS Roald Amundsen really makes you want to work out. It is modern, light and very inviting with the wooden finish and brand new equipment.
There are several machines available such as treadmills, bikes and rowing machines as well as weights. Furthermore, there is a separate space for stretching or doing yoga, whichever your heart desires.
The Wellness Center is on the same deck as the gym, in fact just on the opposite site. It is the first Wellness Center ever on a Hurtigruten ship and offers treatments such as body massages, face-, hand- and foot treatments. Guests are also welcome and encouraged to purchase some of the beauty products if they wish.
The Wellness Center is an inviting, light and modern space. It is on the minimalistic side with clean lines, which sets you in the right mind for unwinding and relaxation.
I always use the sauna on cruise ships and the one on MS Roald Amundsen is especially lovely. The sauna is designed in a way that you get the best views while sailing. It is horizontal to the windows and very spacious.
Towels, shower rooms and a water station is also provided.
On the top floor of the ship guests can find the Sports Deck. It has the standard running track that can be found on many of the bigger cruise ships.
However, there are a few additions that anyone who wants to keep fit will find useful and that I personally have not come across yet on any other ship. These include exercise bars and also some workout suggestions.
The Pool Deck with the infinity pool, two jacuzzis and also a pool bar is located towards the aft of the ship. Moreover, there is a comfortable lounge area to sit and unwind.
Currently, only MS Finnmarken on the Norwegian Coastal Sailings, MS Roald Amundsen and her sister ship MS Fridtjof Nansen have a pool in the Hurtigruten fleet.
Having a Pool Deck with an infinity pool, pool bar as well as the Wellness Center definitely enhances the guest experience and opens new doors for the company.
FINAL THOUGHTS …
I did not travel on MS Roald Amundsen, I wish I did though. I was only there for a few hours while the ship was in port to view it.
Still, I was in love with this ship from the moment I saw it. The design, shape and ship colour combination of the white, red and black looks stunning. And once you step inside, you just have to go WOW.
The mix of modern, contemporary and scandi works so well together and there are so many different textures used throughout the ship that really gives you this feeling of being comfortable, relaxed and cozy. It really is your home away from home and I wish that one day I will have the chance of sailing on her.
PS: I was not able to take pictures of the outside of the ship as it was docked too close to the pier, but the ship model (the first picture in the header) gives you a small idea of what she looks like.