The christening of Hurtigruten’s new explorer vessel, MS Spitsbergen, took place earlier this month in Lofoten by the ship’s godmother, Norwegian explorer Cecilie Skog.

The ship is named after Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard Archipelago, located on the very northernmost part of Norway, next to the North Pole, and she joins the company's fleet of explorer ships on Norway’s coastline, departing on her first voyage from Bergen on July 24.

After spending her first season in Norway, MS Spitsbergen, which can carry 243 guests, will alternate between the Norwegian coast and polar expeditions. From 2017, guests can sail with her to Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe and Shetland Islands, as well as to Arctic Canada. Here, passengers will discover L'Anse aux Meadows, a UNESCO World Heritage site where the first Vikings settlements were discovered in 1960.

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