Whilst it is true that the majority of new cruise vessels emerging from the world’s shipyards fit into the category of mega liners, a sector of the passenger market is stimulating the smaller expedition cruise operators to strike back.
These operators, because of their size, like a well known Danish lager, are able to reach those parts that the larger competition cannot access. In addition, these carriers are able to be creative in relation not only to the itineraries they can offer, but also to the facilities they provide, specifically the ways they can explore the world beneath the waves.
Hurtigruten have linked up with another Norwegian company and the result has led to an underwater drone. Colour images will be streamed from the ocean floor to screens onboard their ships. If it attains the quality of the current David Attenborough Blue Planet TV series, it will be a winner. The technology is due to be installed in Hurtigruten’s hybrid vessels Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen that are due to be in service in 2018 and 2019.
Proceeding down a similar route, is Ponant and two of their vessels, also debuting this year, and in 2019, will, through Portholes and hydrophones, deliver both images and sound to the passengers on board.
Scenic have gone even further, overboard if you like, with a seven seater submarine being carried on board their Scenic Eclipse enabling passengers to dive to depths up to 200 metres. That should be operational in August this year!