MS Vesterålen is named after the first Hurtigruten ship to sail along Norway’s rugged coastline in 1893. She is one of our smaller ships and has an intimate on-board atmosphere.
MS Vesterålen will be refurbished at the end of 2019. All the common areas will get an upgrade, including the lounge and `Fyret´ bar. The refurbishment will take care to ensure that MS Vesterålen will continue to provide passengers with an authentic heritage experience.
MS Vesterålen provides passengers an authentic heritage experience. In its exciting programme you will learn more about the ship´s maritime operations, logistics and hotel operations. You will get an opportunity to get closer to the Hurtigruten operation and to learn more about the operation along the Norwegian coast. The programme includes the following:
MS Vesterålen has bright, informal public areas and lounges throughout. The extensive on-board art collection adds an air of sophistication. The ship´s limited passenger capacity contributes to making a voyage aboard MS Vesterålen truly special.
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.
Special diets can be catered for if requested in good time (preferably when booking). Passengers on strict diets e.g vegans, may find that there is limited choice.
On board dress is informal. Although some passengers choose to change for dinner the dress code is casual rather than formal. The weather in Norway can vary during the course of each voyage or even during the day. To cater for these variations it’s recommended to use the layered dress approach that enables you to adapt to changes in temperature, wind and precipitation conditions easily.
For all voyages it’s advised you to take breathable rain and windproof clothing. A warm hat, gloves, scarf and thermal clothing∘ can be useful, together with thermal underwear, during the winter months. On land where it may be icy, sturdy shoes are important for shore excursions and a walking stick/trekking pole may be useful. You should pack a pair of UV protective sunglasses, even during the winter as the reflections of snow and ice can be harmful to the unprotected eye.
Hurtigruten are happy to welcome passengers with limited mobility onboard.
Passengers who use a wheelchair must bring their own, standard size, foldable chair. Guest who are able to navigate∘ around the ship unaided in a wheelchair need not to have a travel companion. Those who need assistance may need to be accompanied.
Excursions, however have not been adapted specifically for passengers with walking difficulties. Please talk to the tour leaders when you are onboard who will be able to advise to which excursions are suitable.
Hurtigruten ASA cannot accept children under the age of 5 to travel with us to Antarctica. There is no age restriction∘ on our other destinations. For safety reasons, children under 12 years of age will be considered on each landing. It is entirely at the Captain’s discretion to allow children on shore landings.
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.
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 comfortable cabins for up to two people on the middle decks have bunk beds
These comfortable outside cabins for up to three people on the middle decks have bunk beds.
These cabins on the middle deck have one double bed and two bunk beds. These outside cabins for four travellers are ideal for families.
These standard outside cabins for up to two people on the middle deck have separate beds.
These comfortable outside cabins for up to two people on the upper or middle deck have separate beds, one of which converts into a sofa. The cabins have limited or no view.
These comfortable outside cabins for up to two people on the upper deck have separate beds, one of which doubles as a sofa.
These comfortable, standard inside cabins for up to two people on the middle deck have separate beds (one which converts into a sofa) or bunk beds
These comfortable, standard inside cabins for up to three people on the lower deck have bunk beds.
The emphasis onboard is on relaxation and discovery, and not the commercial entertainment that is so often a part of conventional cruises. Hertigruten’s 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 musical entertainment onboard in the evenings.
Selling souvenirs, knitwear, books, postcards, postage stamps and a limited supply of toiletries.
Passwords can be purchased from reception, costs are currently 40NOK for 30 mins, 60NOK for 1 hour and 200NOK for 6 hours (subject to change).
The books are in a variety of languages including Norwegian, German and English, also there are game tables available to play cards and chess.