New Roald Amundsen Set for Historic Antarctica Christening

MS Roald Amundsen

Hurtigruten has announced what is believed to be the first ever cruise ship naming ceremony in Antarctica, as the Roald Amundsen will be christened there with a "chunk of ice" later this year. 

Instead of the traditional bottle of champagne, the Roald Amundsen’s explorer heritage will be honored by naming the vessel with a chunk of ice, the company said, in a statement.

The naming ceremony will take place this fall, as the first world’s first hybrid powered cruise ship makes her way to the white continent on her maiden Antarctica voyage. 

"We can think of no better place to name the truly unique MS Roald Amundsen than the waters of Antarctica – where no ship has ever been christened before," said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

Named after polar hero Roald Amundsen - who led the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage, the first expedition to the south pole and the first expedition proven to have reached the North Pole – the MS Roald Amundsen naming ceremony is set to honor his legacy with a ritual invented by Amundsen himself.

When christening his famed expedition ship Maud in 1917, Roald Amundsen switched the traditional bottle of champagne for a chunk of ice. Before crushing the ice against her bow, he stated: “It is not my intention to dishonor the glorious grape, but already now you shall get the taste of your real environment. For the ice you have been built, and in the ice, you shall stay most of your life, and in the ice, you shall solve your tasks."

Added Skjeldam:  "To honor Roald Amundsen and his explorer heritage, we will revive his ritual. With over 125 year of Polar experience, Hurtigruten will use the first ever ship naming ceremony in Antarctica to pay our respects to our oceans, the environment and past and present explorers."

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