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New Expedition Cruise Ship to Feature an Art Collection Fit for a Queen

Dreaming of an expedition to Antarctica? Even at the literal end of the Earth, you don’t need to go without art and culture. MS Roald Amundsen, a 530-passenger expedition ship launching in 2019, will sail to the Poles with a collection of nearly 600 works of art onboard—many chosen by Queen Sonja of Norway.

The ship, designed and operated by the Norway-based Hurtigruten line, will display works of graphic art and printmaking by young Norwegian artists, established international artists, and even the queen herself. The artworks, selected in partnership with the queen’s foundation, the Queen Sonja Print Award, will be scattered all over the ship, including the cabins, restaurants, corridors, and stairwells. The art will be available for purchase.

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Ice Channel II by Queen Sonja of Norway: DetailPhoto: Sarah Schlichter

Queen Sonja first became interested in printmaking during an expedition to Svalbard, a remote Norwegian archipelago above the Arctic Circle. Struck by the intricate textures of ice that her camera captured inside a meltwater tunnel, she used printmaking techniques to transform her photographs into delicate, richly colored works of art. Her interest in graphic art eventually led her to create her foundation, which awards grants to up-and-coming artists.

The art collection isn’t the only way MS Roald Amundsen will be breaking new ground: It will also be the world’s first hybrid-powered expedition ship. Running partially on electric power will allow the ship not only to cut fuel consumption but also to glide soundlessly through some of the world’s most remote landscapes.

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Queen Sonja of Norway with Her ArtPhoto: Sarah Schlichter

Select voyages aboard MS Roald Amundsen are already available for booking on the Hurtigruten website, with cruises to South America and Antarctica starting at 3368 euros per person (approximately $4,154 USD). The ship is also expected to sail to the Arctic and along the Norwegian coast.

The ship is named after a Norwegian explorer who led the first expedition to the South Pole and the first successful voyage through the Northwest Passage.

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