(9:40 a.m. EST) — Hurtigruten — best-known for its Norwegian coastal voyages — is heading for tropical waters with its first ever inland sailing along the Amazon. The 16-night Brazilian rainforest cruise is part of a major expansion of the line’s 2017/18 programme that will also take in the world’s largest fjord complex in Greenland and the national parks of Newfoundland.
The Norwegian-owned line has added a total of 23 new expedition voyages to its forthcoming programme, offering more than 200 ports of call in 18 countries.
The Amazon sailing on the 318-passenger MS Fram will include canoe expeditions and wilderness hikes with local guides, whilst the new Greenland cruise will explore the Scoresby Sund, or Kangertittivaq, which stretches inland for 217 miles.
Four new voyages on the new MS Spitsbergen will incorporate Newfoundland and Labrador with highlights including a visit to L’Anse aux Meadows, a UNESCO-listed fishing village where Norwegians Anne Stine and Helge Ingstad, together with their daughter Benedicte, discovered a Viking settlement in 1960. Benedicte, a researcher and professor of medical anthropology, will join selected voyages as a guest lecturer.
Other highlights of Hurtigruten’s new voyages include sailings along both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America, and a journey along the Panama Canal.
For 2016 the line is also tripling the number of berths available on its Antarctica programme with four ships, up from two this year, and including the MS Spitsbergen being launched in May.
Commenting on the move to the tropics and general expansion, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said: “We want to offer our guests unique and meaningful experiences regardless of the water temperature. People no longer want to spend their vacations being passive spectators, therefore Hurtigruten offers active and educational voyages. The many unique excursions and lecture gives guests genuinely close encounters with the nature and culture of the destinations.”