Hurtigruten christened its new ship, the MS Spitsbergen, at a ceremony in Svolvaer, Norway earlier this week, with thousands of people coming out to witness the event.

“Adventure travel is one the fastest growing global tourism mega trends. The MS Spitsbergen destinations offers everything the new adventure traveler seeks: Spectacular scenery, authenticity, a unique history and atmosphere, and access to active nature-based experiences. Svolvaer in many respects mirrors the modern Hurtigruten: a world leading provider of explorer cruises with activity, learning and sustainability at its core," said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

Spitsbergen Godmother Cecilie Skog popped the champagne bottle against the ship’s side to officially christen the Spitsbergen. Skog is one of the most awarded contemporary Norwegian explorers, with numerous achievements including expeditions to the North Pole; the South Pole; Mount Everest; Antarctica; and Greenland. She has also climbed the ‘Seven Summits’, standing on top of the highest mountain on each of the earth’s seven continents.

The 7,344-ton ship will introduce new routes for the company in Iceland, Greenland and Canada for the 2017/2018 season.