MS Roald Amundsen

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NameRoald Amundsen
NamesakeRoald Amundsen
BuilderKleven Verft, Ulsteinvik, Norway[1]
Launched17 February 2018
CompletedJuly 2018[1]
IdentificationIMO number9813072
General characteristics
TypeCruise ship
Length140 m (459 ft 4 in)[3]
Beam23.6 m (77 ft 5 in)[3]
Height29 m (95 ft 2 in)[3]
Draught5.3 m (17 ft 5 in)[2]
Picture of the vessel MS Roald Amundsen

MS Roald Amundsen is a new hybrid powered Hurtigruten expedition cruise ship.[4] She was built by Kleven Yards of Norway and started her maiden voyage on 3 July 2019 from the Norwegian port Tromsø to Hamburg.[1] She and her sister ship Fridtjof Nansen are the first hybrid-powered ships in the Hurtigruten fleet.[3][5][6]

Roald Amundsen was christened in fall 2019 in Antarctica with a chunk of ice instead of the traditional bottle of champagne.[7] The vessel is in the PC6 Polar Class, with a strengthened hull for arctic conditions. Roald Amundsen was the first hybrid ship to sail the Northwest Passage.[8][9]

Construction and career[edit]

Roald Amundsen was launched on 17 February 2018.[10] In late February 2018, Hurtigruten announced that the company would not take delivery of Roald Amundsen until 2019 because of problems at the shipyard.[11]

In 2019, the ship began expedition cruises along the Norwegian Coast, as well as trips to the North and South Poles. During the evening of 10 September 2019, Roald Amundsen arrived in Nome, Alaska, captained by Kai Albrigtsen, and the operator announced the first complete passage of the more than 3,000-nautical-mile (5,600 km; 3,500 mi) passage from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, by hybrid propulsion.[9]

Coronavirus pandemic[edit]

After the global halting of cruise operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, Roald Amundsen had resumed its cruises on 17 July with a seven-day roundtrip cruise from Tromsø to Svalbard, followed by another that departed on 24 July.[12][13] Several days before arriving back in Tromsø on 31 July, two crew members became sick and were isolated.[a][14] Upon arrival at Tromsø, four crew members, including the two isolated ones, were tested for coronavirus, and the University Hospital of North Norway (UNN) announced that all four had tested positive for COVID-19.[b][16][14][13] As a result, all 160 crew members were to be tested.[15]

Many passengers had already disembarked and had been making their way home before the news broke about the infected crew, with one bus driver stating that he had driven 28 passengers from Roald Amundsen to the airport hours before the news broke.[15] Hurtigruten stated that they would inform the passengers of both cruises about their potential exposure to the virus via SMS.[14] There were 209 passengers aboard the 17 July cruise, and 177 aboard the 24 July cruise.[14]

Later that evening, it was revealed that a passenger from Vesterålen aboard the 17 July cruise had tested positive for the virus days earlier, and that on 29 July, an official from Vesterålen clearly informed at least four people in Hurtigruten, as well as the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), about the positive case, and recommended that all passengers on the second sailing be informed on the same day.[17] However, Hurtigruten had believed there was no need to worry.[17]

One report stated that passengers on the second sailing were not advised that COVID-19 infection had been found on the ship. Others said they had learned about it later from the news reports.[18]

All 177 passengers aboard the 24 July cruise and all 160 crew members were required to enter quarantine.[19] Roald Amundsen was originally scheduled to set sail for Svalbard again that afternoon, but the cruise was cancelled, and the ship's next planned voyage was scheduled for the beginning of September.[15]

The next day, on 1 August, Tromsø Mayor Gunnar Wilhelmsen announced that an additional 29 crew members had tested positive, meaning that 33 people had tested positive as of that date.[20][18][21] Later that evening, Mayor Wilhelmsen confirmed that 36 people had tested positive so far, including one passenger.[22] The mayor disapproved of how Hurtigruten had handled the situation, stating that he believed the passengers should have been informed and quarantined before the ship had docked in Tromsø, and that he worried that a major outbreak might occur because passengers had wandered around the city before they were notified about the sick crew members.[22] Troms Parliament Member Kent Gudmundsen expressed shock over Hurtigruten's management of the situation,[22] and Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie praised the efforts of Tromsø and the NIPH in containing the virus.[22] Up to 69 municipalities might have been affected by the outbreak, and officials had still been unable to contact 20 of the 177 passengers aboard the 27 July cruise by evening.[23][22]

An update on 3 August 2020 stated that four of the passengers who were on the two cruises had tested positive for the virus.[24]


  1. ^ Hurtigruten claimed that the two crew members were isolated for a different illness.[14]
  2. ^ They were the first coronavirus patients admitted to UNN since 5 June.[15]


  1. ^ a b c "MS Roald Amundsen Review and Specifications". CruiseMapper. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b Bergsli, Gaute (19 October 2016). "Hurtigruten har bestemt seg for navn på sine nye skip" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Storholm, Linda (19 October 2016). "Two New Expedition Ships to be Named after Polar Heroes". High North News. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "MS Roald Amundsen". Hurtigruten. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  5. ^ Hilpert, Alexandra (9 July 2019). "Das erste Hybrid-Kreuzfahrtschiff der Welt geht in Betrieb — und soll von Hamburg bis in die Antarktis fahren" [The world's first hybrid cruise ship goes into operation - and is to sail from Hamburg to Antarctica]. Business Insider (in German). Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Hybridschiff mit 530 Passagieren legt in Hamburg an" [Hybrid ship with 530 passengers docks in Hamburg]. Hamburger Abendblatt (in German). 10 July 2019. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  7. ^ "New Roald Amundsen Set for Historic Antarctica Christening". 2019-07-11. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  8. ^ "Hurtigruten Going Big in Arctic in 2019". CIN. 2017-12-06. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  9. ^ a b Tolentino, Christian (12 September 2019). "First hybrid-powered ship completes Northwest Passage crossing". Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  10. ^ "Roald Amundsen Launched in Norway". 2018-02-17. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  11. ^ "Roald Amundsen Delayed as Hurtigurten Cancels Inaugural Season". 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  12. ^ "Hurtigruten To Resume Operations On 14 Ships". The Avid Cruiser. 14 July 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  13. ^ a b Nilsen, Thomas (31 July 2020). "Hurtigruten cancels Svalbard cruise as 35 crew members are diagnosed with COVID-19". The Barents Observer. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  14. ^ a b c d e "Smitteutbrudd på Hurtigruten: Fire ansatte innlagt på sykehus" [Outbreak of infection on the Hurtigruten: Four employees hospitalized]. (in Norwegian). 31 July 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  15. ^ a b c d "Koronautbrudd på Hurtigruten – ligger til kai i Tromsø" [Corona eruption on Hurtigruten - located at the quay in Tromsø]. (in Norwegian). 31 July 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  16. ^ @UNN_HF (31 July 2020). "I løpet av dagen er d ved UNN Tromsø ankommet fire personer som har fått påvist covid-19 i forbindelse med innleggelse. Alle er mannskap om bord på hurtigruteskipet Roald Amundsen, og er utenlandske statsborgere. Ytterligere informasjon om tilstand eller id blir ikke gitt av UNN" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  17. ^ a b "Hurtigruten ble varslet om passasjer med smitte etter forrige tur – mente det ikke var grunn til bekymring" [Hurtigruten was notified of passengers with infection after the previous trip - thought there was no cause for concern]. (in Norwegian). 1 August 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  18. ^ a b "COVID-19 Crew Member Infections Confirmed on Hurtigruten Cruise Ship". Cruise Law News. 31 July 2020. Retrieved 2020-08-01. Without knowing that they might be infected by the dangerous and, in the worst case, deadly virus. Passengers Nordlys has spoken to say that they did not know anything about the coronavirus on board until they read about it in the newspaper.
  19. ^ "Hurtigruten-passasjer slipper ikke inn på fly: – Surrealistisk" [Hurtigruten passengers do not get on planes: - Surreal]. (in Norwegian). 31 July 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  20. ^ "29 nye smittetilfeller på "Roald Amundsen"" [29 new cases of infection on «Roald Amundsen»]. (in Norwegian). 1 August 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  21. ^ "Four crew members on Norway cruise ship hospitalized with COVID-19". National Post. Reuters. Retrieved 2020-08-01. Four crew members on Norwegian cruise vessel Roald Amundsen have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the University Hospital of North Norway where they are being treated said on Friday.
  22. ^ a b c d e "36 Hurtigruten-ansatte bekreftet smittet" [36 Hurtigruten employees confirmed with infection]. (in Norwegian). 1 August 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  23. ^ "69 kommuner fra hele landet er berørt av Hurtigruten-utbruddet" [69 municipalities from all over the country are affected by the Hurtigruten outbreak]. (in Norwegian). 2 August 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  24. ^ "Two cruise ships hit by coronavirus weeks after industry restarts". The Guardian. 3 August 2020. Retrieved 2020-08-03.

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