Hurtigruten has announced that it will base the 500-guest Midnatsol in Antarctica from September 2016. In addition to the line’s 250-passenger Fram already sailing the region, Midnatsol will be the largest ship to offer sailings to Antartica and will increase the total seasonal capacity from 2,268 in the 2015/16 season to 6,800 in 2016/17.
Sailing from Punta Arenas in Chile, Midnatsol will hope to attract a younger audience with families. The line’s current ship Fram, will continue to operate out of Ushuaia, which will target more adventurous travellers.
Before sailing to Antartica, Midnatsol will undergo some adjustments to prepare her for polar exploration and will receive a new Young Explorers programme, as well as its own science lab where guests can take part in experiments or listen to lectures from onboard scientists.
Cecilia Abert, UK managing director for Hurtigruten, commented:
“We’re very excited about Midnatsol and we’re offering two very different propositions with Midnatsol and Fram. We are positioning Fram for hardcore explorers and more adventurous travellers, whereas Midnatsol will be a softer kind of discovery and exploration. This definitely widens our appeal and the markets we can attract.
“We are repositioning the brand to make it a lot clearer that we are the number one when it comes to exploration cruising. We’re going in a new direction and we’re definitely putting a lot more focus on the exploration side of things.”