Steel was cut for the first of two ships, the Roald Amundsen, which enters service in summer 2018. A sister ship follows in 2019, and the company has an option for two additional 20,000-ton, 600-passenger vessels.
"Today is a historical day not only for Hurtigruten, but for the global maritime industry. We celebrate the construction start of the first ship in a new generation that will change expedition travel forever," said Skjeldam.
The cost of the ships is estimated at $220 million each. The vessels will be the first cruise ships in the world to utilize hybrid power using a battery system. A prepared statement from the company said the hybrid technology will allow for sailing up to 30 minutes on battery-powered propulsion.