Last week’s announcement by Hurtigruten celebrating the 50th anniversary of its vintage vessel MS Lofoten reminded me of the longevity of smaller expedition ships, and of the market niche that loves them.
The company has a storied 120-year history of transporting both locals and international tourists along the Norwegian coast, as well as offering expedition cruises around Svalbard and, in more recent years, to Antarctica. While most passengers nowadays opt for Hurtigruten’s larger and newer ships, the 150-passenger Lofoten clearly appeals to a niche of the market with her classic nautical lines, wood paneled interiors and intimate atmosphere. She's created a real identity for herself.
There are many other small, vintage vessels that still ply the remote corners of the globe, catering to adventurous travelers. I hope to blog about a few more of them in the future, and how they’re marketed. For now, I want to sort out a fleet of 25-year-old sister ships that do their fair share in taking curious travelers to out-of-the-way destinations on expedition cruises.Read More