Modern-day travelers seek authentic, immersive experiences. They want to explore true wilderness, discover new communities and cultures, observe wildlife in a natural habitat, and otherwise engage in meaningful travel experiences.
“We don’t board passengers,” said William Harber, President of the Americas for Hurtigruten, a company that has been cruising and exploring for more than 125 years. “We host explorers.” Adventure comes in many forms—and explorers know that to have a truly full and rich travel experience, you have to find ways to step beyond the boundaries. Hurtigruten helps travelers do just that, providing expeditions that are more than meets the eye.
Rather than having travelers spend an entire vacation onboard, Hurtigruten ships are base camps from which to embark on educational, immersive and authentic journeys.Joining a Hurtigruten expedition means signing up for an adventure; it means discovering remote, seldom-visited regions of the world and learning about the places you’re exploring, from local history and geology to indigenous flora and fauna.
“The great thing about traveling on an expedition with Hurtigruten is that guests aren’t limited to just the pre-planned itinerary,” said Harber. “There are dozens of optional excursions to join in on, all meant to further enhance the expedition experience.
”If travelers are interested in visiting a place such as Antarctica, they could expect to take part in excursions like kayaking among icebergs, hiking, snowshoeing, small-boat cruising, bird watching, and even camping on the continent while interacting with local communities such as the Sámi or Inuit.What makes adventures like these special are the intuitive people who lead them. Hurtigruten voyages are led by captains who have sailed over 200 expeditions—clocking more than 51,000 hours in polar waters. Thanks to this experience, no two Hurtigruten cruises are exactly the same. If the weather turns, captains know the bays and coves where ships can shelter. If wildlife isn’t appearing, captains know
that another viewing opportunity is a few miles away, thanks to the last time they visited. “Not only do our captains have an incredible knowledge of the regions we visit, but our expedition teams do, as well,” said Harber. “Found on all Hurtigruten cruises, the members of our expedition teams happily share their knowledge and passion for exploration through hosting onboard and onshore activities, presenting lectures to whet guests’ appetites, and answering any questions that occur throughout the journey.”Hurtigruten truly understands the waters they sail, giving peace of mind to first-time travelers who may not have an extensive exploration background—and ensuring the expedition experiences are accessible and fulfilling. “Whether sailing along the stunning coast of Norway, where Hurtigruten first began back in 1893, or heading south and discovering the nooks and crannies of Antarctica, we’ve been there before,” said Harber. “We know how to navigate the region—and share the best of it with our guests.”
Vacations that are more than just a standard trip—such as expeditions with Hurtigruten—offer life-affirming experiences in regions where the nature, culture and wildlife are indeed one-of-a-kind. Rather than following in the footsteps of the explorers, travelers discover what it feels like to be an explorer. Hurtigruten take travelers to incredible destinations while working to sustain and augment the locations through social, environmental and safety enhancements along the way.“We are in the process of building two new vessels—MS Roald Amundsen, launching in 2019, and MS Fridtjof Nansen, launching in 2020—the world’s first hybrid electric- powered cruise ships” said Harber. As of July 2, 2018,Hurtigruten banned all unnecessary single-use plastic with a goal to become the world’s first plastic-free cruise company.”Travelers join Hurtigruten expeditions to enjoy experiences with depth; to remove themselves from daily life and to discover what it really means to “go beyond.” At the heart of it all, the ship itself is not the ultimate destination for explorers: The itinerary and the opportunities afforded by the specific region visited are what matter—and are what will be remembered for years to come.