MS Spitsbergen is named after the crown jewel of Arctic Norway – the Svalbard archipelago and its biggest island, Spitsbergen. Hurtigruten has a long history of travelling to Spitsbergen, beginning in 1896 with the `Sports Route´. MS Spitsbergen cruises along the Norwegian coast from September to May, and becomes part of our global Explorer sailings during the rest of the year.
After complete reconstruction, MS Spitsbergen joined the Hurtigruten fleet in 2016. The ship features high technical standards as well as comfortable, modern public areas and cabins. The vessel's fresh Scandinavian design reflects a colour palette derived from the sea. She is modern and environmentally progressive, and we plan further improvements that will reduce emissions and fuel consumption even more. The new ship’s maneuverability and optimal size make her quite suitable for exploring polar waters.
Hurtigruten ships are working vessels operating a regular service to a set timetable. The ships carry goods, vehicles and passengers between ports, by night and day, as an integral part of Norwegian daily life. The ships are calling at ports around the clock. You may expect some noise and vibration∘ in a few cabins during loading of goods. This varies depending on the location of your cabin and the type of ship. Also, noise affects people differently and what may be a problem for one person may not be a problem for another. Please ask the reservation team for advice on the best cabin location for you.
On board dress is informal. For all voyages, we advise you to bring breathable rain and windproof clothing. A warm hat, gloves, scarf and thermal clothing can be useful, together with thermal underwear, during the winter months. Sturdy shoes are important for some shore excursions and a walking stick/trekking pole may be useful.
If you have special requests (e.g. dietary or medical) please inform us as soon as possible. We will do our best to meet such requests but cannot guarantee to do so and under no circumstance will any such request be accepted by us so as to form part of a contractual agreement.
The MS Spitsbergen is suitable for wheelchair-users. Persons in need of special assistance must travel with a companion. Please note that the gangway must be used to wheelchairs-users to embark / disembark. In ports where tidal conditions or other circumstances require use of a portable gangway, or during landings with tender boats, it is not possible to use/take wheelchairs.
For cruises with embarkation and/or disembarkation in Longyearbyen, we only accept bookings of wheelchair users on request.
Passengers who use a wheelchair must bring their own, standard size, foldable chair.
Hurtigruten AS cannot allow children under the age of 5 to travel with us to Antarctica and South Georgia. For safety reasons, children under 12 years of age will be considered for participation on each landing.
There is always an English-speaking physician and nurse on board. The ship has a small medical facility with the necessary equipment and drugs to handle small emergencies. In the event of a serious emergency, the nearest hospital will be contacted. Medical consultations as well as medicines will be charged to the passenger affected.
All guests must have personal travel/health insurance. If you depend on medication, remember to bring sufficient supplies to last through any unforeseen delays. We also recommend that you keep your medication in your hand luggage properly labelled and with clear instructions for its use. If you depend on vital drugs, please inform the ship’s doctor upon arrival. Illness on board can lead to quarantine and orders from the ship’s physician and captain, must be followed.
On board, smoking is only permitted in designated areas on outside decks. Do not smoke in your cabin. To show respect for the environment, please use the provided ashtrays when smoking. Throwing cigarette butts overboard is strictly prohibited.
A cleaning charge of 1 500 NOK will be applied for smoking in your non-smoking cabin, to cover for the cost of cleaning linen and curtains to return it to a non-smoking standard. E-Cigarettes, according to Norwegian law, are the equival of tobacco cigarettes and therefore smoking is only permitted in the designated smoking areas.
Fighting climate change through innovation
Hurtigruten’s revolutionary hybrid powered ships, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, are the backbone of what will be the world’s greenest expedition cruise fleet. They have been named after legends of the golden age of Polar exploration. This is no coincidence. Hurtigruten traces our roots back to the great polar heroes and has explored some of the most spectacular and demanding waters of our planet since 1893.
Driving technology and innovation has helped us overcome every obstacle we have faced since, and now climate change is facing us with another huge challenge that must be overcome. Our response is new technology and innovation.
Building on our 125 years of pioneering heritage, our new ships will be equipped with large battery packs to significantly cut emissions. In addition, the ships are packed with cutting-edge green technology, environmental solutions, and improved hull and bow design.
Historical green upgrade
Being the world leader in green adventure travel, our urge to improve has made us introduce another groundbreaking industry-first:
Hurtigruten is refitting a number of our existing ships from traditional diesel engines to hybrid power - combining liquified natural gas (LNG), bio gas (LBG) and battery packs. This huge green upgrade program allows us to optimize the full use of clean battery power and LNG – the greenest fuel currently available for shipping. The use of efficient LNG engines alone will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 25 percent compared to 2015 levels. NOx emissions will be reduced by a whopping 90 percent.
Research, innovation, cooperation & monitoring
In our quest for greener travel, Hurtigruten cooperates with a number of technology-driven companies. From global players to local startups, Hurtigruten is determined to raise the standards and move borders. As we have done with the Norwegian startup Blueye Robotics, adding underwater drones – and literally opening new horizons for our guests.
Hurtigruten also has a long history of participating in programs to monitor and analyse the waters and areas we operate in. Together with our guests we are involved in important research, from registration of polar bears on Svalbard and logging seawater temperature along the Norwegian coast, to oil surveillance and Antarctic research.
Since 1932, Hurtigruten has been measuring sea temperature, salinity levels and algae growth as part of an ongoing collaboration with the Norwegian Institute for Marine Research and the Norwegian Institute for water research. 80 years ago, we threw a bucket overboard to collect samples to bring home. Now, we collect precise water measurements using the sophisticated sensor system Ferrybox. The data collected by Ferrybox is transferred via satellite to NIVA and used by reseachers to monitor natural variability in the ocean and human impacts on the oceans, including climate change.
Ocean Visuals is a system currently installed onboard MS Trollfjord. With the advanced laser equipment, we continuously monitor the ocean for oil spillages. MS Trollfjord and MS Midnatsol have made 5 million measurements so far, identifying more than 40 incidents of oil spillages and two leaks from installations on shore. The Norwegian Coastal Administration is notified immediately of such instances. All data from Ocean Visuals is collected and is made open source for anyone to review and research.
We take part in enhancing the areas we sail in by contributing to citizen science. For example, at Svalbard we take part in the Norwegian Polar Institute project for registration of marine mammals in the Arctic (Marine Mammal Sightings Data Base). The data improves our overall understanding of habitat use and seasonal movement patterns.
Advancing shore power
When connected to shore power, our emissions are reduced to zero. Our entire fleet sailing the Norwegian coast will be retrofitted with this capability by 2021. Shore-based electricity has enormous positive effects. The new shore-based electricity facility in the port of Bergen alone, will reduce our NOx emissions by 2.5 tons and CO2 emissions by 150 tons per ship, every year.
The combination of battery packs and shore-based power will reduce CO2 emissions by a further 8 percent.
Caring for the sea
Our vessels produce their own fresh water through onboard desalination and purification technology. We reuse heat from engine coolant and the vessels´ exhaust systems to warm up the hot water tanks on board. By doing so, we save power equivalent to the consumption of 6700 households per year. We have also introduced new automatic technology to reduce food waste, as part of our sustainability and waste programs.
We work to maintain stringent policies regarding discharge into the sea, including a ban on discharging food waste, grey water, bilge water and black water in Hjørundfjorden, Geirangerfjord/Storfjorden and Lyngenfjorden - and other vulnerable areas.
Banning heavy fuel oil
With leading environmental agencies such as Clean Arctic Alliance and European Climate Foundation, Hurtigruten is spearheading a campaign to ban the use of HFO in Arctic waters. After operating in these waters for 125 years, we see no other option. It does not make sense to bring more pollution, more risk, to areas that need less.
Fighting mass tourism
One of Hurtigruten’s most important goals is to fight the exploitation and degradation of sites, nature and local communities by mass tourism. Operations where quantity wins over quality result in poor guest experiences in the short run - and damaged sites and destinations in the longer run. Exploration travel is not about volume, it’s about unique experiences for active guests. We have proven that explorers are willing to pay for quality experiences, learning, understanding and a broadening of their horizons. We need to stop measuring success in more tourists, more ships or more hotel beds. We need to instead measure it in the quality of the guests and the footprints they leave behind.
Hurtigruten has called for a stop to mass tourism in pristine areas. We work for stricter regulations, such as size limitations on cruise ships and restricting number of guests allowed on shore. We are already following these guidelines ourselves. Our goal is to develop, encourage and maintain sustainable all-year activity, instead of flooding the valuable sites during peak season and leaving them quiet for the rest of the year. This is key to developing sustainable destinations, thriving communities and unique experiences. There is room to grow, but the growth has to be balanced and sustainable.
Enhancing local communities and culture
Hurtigruten respects and supports indigenous communities, values culture and traditions, and maintains a close cooperation with communities wherever we operate. We have a deep respect for the communities, people and areas we visit, and ensure that any impact left by both guests and crew is only minor and transitory . We will not leave visible or lasting signs from a visit.
Trading locally and buying services like excursions and sourcing ingredients from local suppliers, Hurtigruten contributes to the livelihoods and welfare of small coastal societies. Hurtigruten respects and supports indigenous communities, values culture and traditions, and maintains a very close cooperation with the communities that make an immense effort to welcome our guests – wherever we visit.
Hurtigruten has also committed to buying most of our goods and services from local suppliers, and we are by far the largest player in locally sourced food in the Norwegian travel industry.
Norway’s Coastal kitchen and reducing food waste
Around 80 percent of the food and drinks we serve comes from Norwegian suppliers, and nearly half of this is delivered directly from farms, fisheries and producers – with as few food miles added as possible. By trading locally, we reduce transportation emissions to a minimum and increase the knowledge and understanding of local food, customs and cultures among our guests. Knowing the source also ensures the well-being of animals and the safe origin of other ingredients.
Our concept Norway´s Coastal kitchen has changed our onboard food concept, abandoning all industrial processed food and removing endangered species from our menus. Instead, our guests get to experience tasty and healthy food from local suppliers throughout the whole journey. We only serve species approved by WWF’s Seafood Guide and we became MSC-certified in 2018.
We have committed to reducing food waste by 20 percent by 2021. We have implemented a digital registration and real-time measurement of our food production to minimise food waste. Our early results show more than a 20 percent expected reduction in food waste.
Respecting nature and wildlife
Exploring some of the most spectacular wildernesses on our planet - and observing theirunique wildlife - is an important part of every Hurtigruten voyage. This comes with an obligation to explore respectfully.
Observing wild animals and birdlife is done at distance so as not to alter natural behavior and with the utmost respect for their welfare and habitat. Throughout every voyage – and prior to each landing - all guests are briefed and educated in local wildlife guidelines.
Hurtigruten Expedition Team members are hand-picked, trained and certified annually, ensuring that all preparations, landings and encounters with nature and wildlife happen in accordance with Hurtigruten’s strict policies and guidelines – which surpass all industry standards.
Conservation of the environment
In order to improve our footprint, we need to understand and constantly improve our knowledge of the wildlife we encounter. That is why we participate in and encourage science and research in several ways. We contribute to registration of polar bears on Svalbard, log seawater temperature along the Norwegian coast and conduct oil surveillance and Antarctic research. Our crew and guests also remove metric tons of garbage and litter from shores.
Hurtigruten is a founding member of AECO, an organisation working for responsible, environmentally-friendly and safe tourism in the Arctic. We are also proud members of IAATO, which advocates for and promotes safe and environmentally-responsible travel to the Antarctic. One main focus of these organisations is to promote public awareness and concern for the conservation of the environment and its associated ecosystems.
In 2015 we established Hurtigruten Foundation, which provides funding to grassrootsorganisations and NGOs working to protect the natural environment and cultural heritage of the areas we sail in.
Providing a diversified and safe work environment
While we work to enhance the destinations we visit, we also continously strive to enhance our own organisation. We are absolutely sure that a diversified working environment is essential for Hurtigruten to succeed. We operate with a zero tolerance for gender-based discrimination and 44 percent of our manager level employees are women. We work to ensure women´s full participation at all levels throughout our company, and we are eagerly waiting for our first female captain to be appointed as one of many in the futuree. Hurtigruten expects all partners and companies to respect equality and give everyone the same opportunity to succeed.
Hurtigruten’s operations depend on a peaceful environment with democratic and effective institutions, and a stable working environment. We have implemented safeguards and policies to prevent violations of anti-corruption laws. Our organisation has implemented a whistleblower policy. The Hurtigruten ethical rules are known by all employees and the Supplier Code of Conduct is signed by all suppliers. All operations comply with the Modern Slavery Act.
Changing the world of adventure
We are constantly enhancing how we reduce, recycle and handle our waste – and are sharing everything we learn along the way. Our guests and crew collect tons of waste from beaches every year and are educated and trained in conservation. Hurtigruten is spreading awareness about pollution in every way we can, including partnerships, organisations, research and real time monitoring of the oceans.
Hurtigruten is investing in cutting-edge technology and advancing innovations throughout our entire organisation. We are building the world’s greenest and most advanced fleet of expedition cruise ships and are changing the world of adventure travel. We are continuously drilling down into every detail to ensure that we keep improving.
Banning single-use plastic
The fight against plastic pollution has been a focus for Hurtigruten for years. 15 metric tons of plastic ends up in the world oceans every minute of the day and if the trend continues, this number will double in the next 10 years. This means that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans.
Hurtigruten will become the world’s first plastic-free cruise company. And Hurtigruten was the first major travel company to remove single-use plastic from all our ships, restaurants and hotels. Plastic straws have been replaced by metal, stir pins will no longer be used – and the same with plastic cups wrapped in plastic, plastic cutlery, plastic bags, plastic lids on coffee cups, plastic toothpicks, plastic aprons, single-use packaging of butter and all other single-use plastic items that Hurtigruten’s 500,000 guests and 2,500 employees encounter on a day-to-day basis.
The single-use plastic ban also is also being imposed on the hotels, restaurants and other establishments of our land-based operations. Plastic packaging has either been removed or replaced by environmentally friendly alternatives made of paper, metal or other biodegradable and sustainable materials. And most important, this means a huge cut in single-use items all together.
No one can win the war on plastic alone. At Hurtigruten, we work actively to spread the experiences from our plastic reduction program and engage our guests, allies, competitors, local communities, authorities and anyone else who wants to join the fight. We have also implemented stricter sustainability demands on our suppliers, challenging them to reduce or stop the use of single-use plastic.
The most important everyday task of our crews and guests is to stop the waste before it hits the oceans. But sometimes, we need to do some first aid as well. On a daily basis, Hurtigruten Expedition teams take guests on excursions and hikes somewhere truly spectacular. On every landing at every destination, our Expedition Teams and guests are encouraged to take part in collecting waste. In addition, Hurtigruten Expedition Teams arrange larger beach cleanups on carefully selected spots. This results in the removal of several metric tons of waste every year.
Spreading awareness – creating ambassadors
Hurtigruten wants to create a deeper understanding of the areas we explore and the opportunities and challenges they are facing. We aim to create ambassadors for every destination on every voyage. Guests are joined by Hurtigruten’s highly skilled and experienced Expedition Teams. With fields of expertise ranging from biology and polar survival to the Northern Lights and sustainability, they indulge in talks, lectures and discussions about local cultures, wildlife, nature and pollution – such as plastic and microplastic and how this affects the oceans. This is to further increase our guests´ knowledge about these issues. Through the Young Explorer program, Hurtigruten introduce and engage young guests in beach cleanups, special lectures and other sustainability activities.
Hurtigruten is proud to engage, support and cooperate with organisations and initiatives like Clean Arctic Alliance, European Climate Foundation, Norwegian Polar Institute - the main research organisation focusing on polar bears living on Svalbard, Bellona Foundation and the Clean Up Svalbard program. In addition, we have established Hurtigruten Foundation to raise awareness and reward local and global initiatives that make a positive impact.
Managing waste and stopping spills
All waste on all our ships and hotels is of course sorted for recycling. Together with partners we work to install better sorting facilities on board and to ensure adequate infrastructure at key ports to collect and recycle waste from our operations. We also work to influence ports and authorities to provide better waste management.
We maintain stringent policies regarding discharge into the sea, including a ban on discharging food waste, grey water, bilge water and black water in vulnerable areas. We are of course also in compliance with the Ballast Water Convention.
Reducing food waste through innovation
Food production monitoring
When serving over 4 million meals each year, even a tiny reduction in food waste can make a huge difference. For us, tiny is not enough. That’s why we have pledged to reduce food waste by 30 per cent by 2021. We have implemented a digital registration and real-time measurement of all stages of our food production to increase our knowledge and minimize food waste. Our early results show more than a 20 percent expected reduction in food waste.
Food systems sustainability efforts
Hurtigruten has signed a three-year agreement with the EAT foundation, whose mission is to catalyse a food system transformation through sound science, impatient disruption and novel partnerships. Our partnership aims at exploring other initiatives to improve our sustainability efforts within food systems and broaden the on board food offering.
What we take out of the water is equally important. You should know where your food is coming from. When serving you a local cheese in Lofoten, we can take you to the farm and meet the goats. Needless to say, Hurtigruten maintains a ban on all red-listed seafood, and we demand third party certification of all fish purchased (MSC, ASC or equivalent).
These exclusive suites on the upper deck have a double bed, a separated seating area, TV, kettle, tea/coffee, stereo, minibar, bathrooms with shower/WC, and a spacious private balcony. Please note that we have a wheelchair accessible cabin within this category, please contact us to book.
These exclusive suites on the upper deck have one large room, a seating area, TV, kettle, tea/coffee, stereo, bathrooms with shower/WC, complimentary internet access, minibar and private balcony.
This mini suite for up to two people on lower deck have double bed, TV, window, and bathroom with shower/WC.
These large, comfortable cabins for two or four people on the upper deck have double beds and bathrooms with shower and WC. Some cabins have four single beds also have upper and lower berths. They also have TV. The cabins have limited or no view.
Outside Arctic Superior cabin with double bed, TV and kettle. Window view is party obstructed.
Smaller Outside Arctic Superior cabin with double bed, TV, table and kettle.
Polar Outside cabins are situated on lower deck and they all have bathrooms with shower/wc. Upper and lower berths
These outside cabins for up to two people on the middle and upper decks have bathrooms with shower/WC, upper and lower berths, and a limited view.
These comfortable outside cabins for up to three people on the middle deck have separate beds and bathrooms with shower/WC. The cabins have limited or no view.
Outside cabin with double bed, TV and window.
Spacious inside cabin with double bed and TV for up to two people.
Spacious inside cabin for four travellers, with one double bed and TV.
An expedition cruise with Hurtigruten is rigged towards maximizing your experiences of the places we are going to. On days when we are not landing we encourage you to spend as much time as possible out on deck. Join our educational talks and lectures at different locations on board. A travel experience is often much richer if you have knowledge and understanding about the nature, wildlife, culture and history of your destination.
Our Expedition Team will make sure you are well prepared for the experiences ahead of you. They will also re-capitulate and answer questions in hindsight. You will not find bingo, arcade games and entertainment theatres often found on conventional cruise ships. Our aim is to get you closer to unique environments and to allow you to share the experience with your fellow travellers. Occasionally there may be some light entertainment on board in the evenings.
The reception is located on deck 5.
The Main Lounge, also hosting daily multimedia presentations and professional lectures by expert scientists and wildlife experts.
The Observation lounges offer large panoramic windows with ample and comfortable seats. There will be binoculars for sale in the onboard shop.
In our on board shop you can buy modern clothing suitable for Expedition cruis. Our Expedition Team will be happy to give you expert advice on how to dress properly in polar areas. We offer a great range of both warm and practical clothing, and we focus fabrics with natural fibres. We also offer souvenirs, handicrafts, and postcards. In addition, we also stock a small selection of soap, toothpaste and other personal effects.