Hearts in the Ice: Hilde Fålun Strøm & Sunniva Sorby, MS Fridtjof Nansen
In January 2023, we, Sunniva and Hilde, had the opportunity to join the MS Fridtjof Nansen to Antarctica for the first time. In September 2021 the CEO of Hurtigruten Daniel Skjeldham invited the team to be Godmothers to the vessel to which we accepted with great pride and humility. Shared Skjeldham, "We are thrilled to celebrate more than 125 years of exploration and adventure travel where it all began. We couldn’t be prouder acknowledging this important milestone by naming this engineering marvel at the spot where our founder Richard With pioneered modern-day expedition cruising.”
Fridtjof Nansen is the first cruise ship ever to be registered in Longyearbyen. The 140-m, 20,889-gt vessel accommodates more than 500 passengers and can reach speeds up to 15 knots. The battery-hybrid powered propulsion system used on Fridtjof Nansen is a near identical twin to sister ship Roald Amundsen.
We had the opportunity to meet every single crew member- the lifeblood of the ship along with the officers, hotel manager, captain and expedition team. We joined several science boats where we collected algae, salt water samples and phytoplankton, and attended numerous lectures and side events designed to engage and inform all guests on the importance of creating ambassadors to our precious polar regions. We even camped onshore with a replica of the Amundsen tent from the first expedition to reach the South Pole on Dec. 14, 1911. And we worked to raise money for the Hurtigruten Foundation, smashing all records as we raised over 16,000 Euros for community projects around the world.