Norway-based Hurtigruten has announced the winning name in its “Name our Newest Ship” Facebook contest – the MS Spitsbergen.
Spitsbergen is the largest island in Norway’s Svalbard Archipelago, located above the Arctic Circle. The name was chosen from more than 15,000 suggestions, submitted from around the world since July. The winner of the contest is Erlend Baldersheim from the village of Baldersheim, close to Bergen, Norway. He and a friend will be guests of the captain on a special sailing aboard the new ship.
“We had many great name suggestions, but we found MS Spitsbergen to be especially appropriate as it ties together our long history of polar exploration with our vision for a modern-day Hurtigruten,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. “As early as 1896, Hurtigruten founder and tourism entrepreneur Richard With built a hotel in Spitsbergen and established sailings there from Hammerfest.”
The Spitsbergen will sail on Hurtigruten’s Coastal Voyage, the route along Norway’s western coast, and will replace the MS Midnatsol as it will become the company’s second ship in Antarctica during the 2016-2017 season. After its first season in Norway, the Spitsbergen will alternate between the coast and polar expeditions.
The ship has 180 berths with a total capacity for 320 guests.