The MS Fram is a 500-passenger capacity cruise ship that has been designed with a reinforced hull for cruising arctic waters. MS Fram is operated by the Hurtigruten ASA Group and is registered in Norway. The ship made its first maiden voyage to Greenland in May 2007.
A contract was signed on 9 September 2005 between the Hurtigruten Group and former OVDS ASA and the Fincantieri shipyard to build the 12,700t ship. Construction started in March 2006, with the keel laying completed in August 2006. The keel laying ceremony took place on 21 August 2006 at Fincantieri’s largest shipyard at Monfalcone, near Trieste, Italy.
The MS Fram was floated for the first time in November 2006, followed by test sailings in February 2007. Fincantieri delivered MS Fram to the Hurtigruten ASA Group on 23 April 2007. The ship was named MS Fram in an official naming ceremony in May 2007.
The ship is named after Fridtjof Nansen’s polar exploring ship, which was the first ship to explore the seas around Antarctica and the North Pole. The name had to be approved by the management of the Fram Museum in Oslo, Norway, who also offered to contribute authentic expedition display pieces and information on the original MS Fram.
DESIGN AND FACILITIES
In contrast to newer, larger cruise ships, the MS Fram is relatively small with a total length of 113m and a width of 20m. Within its eight decks there are 136 cabins and 39 suites, accommodating 318 passenger beds. On Norwegian voyages, the maximum passenger total must not exceed 500 persons, and on international sailings this figure is reduced to a maximum of 400 persons.
The ship has two flexible lecture/conference rooms with a total capacity of 250 guests. There is an observation lounge with passenger bridge, a restaurant and bistro, sauna and Jacuzzis, a fitness room, shop, library and internet cafe.
A specially designed tender deck makes loading and unloading passengers easy, making onshore expeditions safe and comfortable.
The interior design is inspired by the culture and language of Greenland. The public areas are named after inuit words with symbolic meanings – Qilak Lounge, meaning sky; Imaq Restaurant, meaning sea; and Nunami Lobby, meaning on land. The ship’s interior features extensive use of wool, leather and oak creating a Nordic feel.
Artworks from Greenlandic artists are displayed throughout the ship. These include Anne-Birthe Hove from Aasiaat and Miki Jacobsen from Nuuk. Norwegian artists displaying artwork include Thor Erdahl, Lars Lerin and Lars-Erik Karlsen from Lofoten. Hakon Anton Fageras designed sculptures in Firenze, Italy.
The cabins feature two lower berths or a twin-sized bed and private bathrooms. Each cabin is air conditioned and heated. The suites, which contain queen-sized beds and TVs, are named after the crew of Roald Amundsen on the original Fram.
The MS Fram embarked on its first voyage in May 2007. During the summer months it will continue to operate around Greenland and the arctic. In the winter it will cruise Antarctic waters.
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