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Fram

Above, Fram is seen sailing past IJmuiden at the 20th of april 2014. She recently recieved her own form of hull-art, making her a sailing advertizing-campaign. You can clearly spot her high bow, something that is typical of an icebreaker.

In the middle of the first decade of this new millennium, the two companies that had sailed the Hurtig Ruten service in Norway for many years, combined forces under the name of Hurtig Ruten. They already operated the service under this banner, but stil used the colours of both companies, OVDS and TFDS. Just before the true merger, OVDS ordered a new ship, slightly different from the both classes that had been built for the service to modernize the aging fleet. The new ship was ordered especially for voyages to Greenland, as cruising outside of the traditional route was becoming a major part of the Hurtig Ruten operations. Breaking with tradition, the new ship wasn't ordered from a Norwegian yard, but the ship was built at the Fincantieri wharf at Monfalcone, Italy. Of course, Monfalcone is mostly known for the big ships they have recently built for Princess Cruises.

Above, Fram is seeing just before docking at Rotterdam during her delivery voyage at the 13th of may 2007.

The keel for the new ship was laid in march of 2006 and she floated out at the 18th of november of that same year. For Fincantieri, it was a very different ship then they had built so far, as she was of course built with a strenghtened hull because of her nature. The ship measures some 12.700 tons and she is 114 meters long and 20,20 meters wide. On her eight decks, she has accomodations for 348 passengers in cabins and 152 deckpassengers. This, of course is the number given when she sails the traditional voyage. On cruises, a maximum of 400 passengers can be sailing her, of course all in cabins. Next to her passengerdecks, the ship also has a small cardeck for 25 cars, of course also mostly used during the traditional sailings. The normal speed of the ship is around 15 knots and she flies the Norwegian flag with her homeport being Tromso.

During february of 2007, after the ship was completed, she made her trials and those were held succesfully so she could be delivered to her owners on the 23rd of april 2007. Meanwhile, the Hurtig Ruten combine was finalized and she was the first ship in the fleet to recieve the new funnelcolours, a black funnel with the white 'H' in a red sun. This was to be the new logo used by both companies. After delivery, the ship sailed for Barcelona in Catalonia under her name Fram and from here, she started her deliveryvoyage around western Europe to Oslo. During this voyage, she also visited Rotterdam, where the above picture was taken. After she arrived in Oslo, she was officially named by her godmother Fransesca Gon and afterwards departed for her true first cruise to Greenland. 

Normally, Fram sails Greenland cruises in nordic summer and Antarctic cruises in northern winter, with traditional Norwegian coastal voyages in between. But because the ship was mostly designed for the Greenland cruises, also her public rooms were named in Inuit tradition. The ships main lounge is named Qilak Lounge, which is the Inuit word for 'sky'. Her restaurant is named Imaq Restaurant, meaning 'sea' and the lobby goes by the name of Nunami, meaning 'on land'. For a very nordic style, a lot of oakwood, leather and wool are used in the ships interiours and many artworks are made by inhabitants of Greenland (yes, there really do live people there). Among those, Anne-Birthe Hove and Miki Jacobsen provided works of art for the ship. Also, several Norwegian artists like Thor Erdahl and Lars-Erik Karlsen provided artworks for the new ship.

Fram is a name that has never been used before by the Hurtig Ruten service, but it is the name of the ship that was used by both Fridjof Nansen (in 1893) and Roald Amundsen (in 1910) for polar expeditions and she had been built in 1892.With her, Amundsen was the first man to reach the southpole, one of the destinations of the 2007-built ship. Nowadays, this original Fram (meaning Forward) is preserved in the Fram museum in Oslo, Norway. The suites aboard the Hurtig Ruten ship from 2007 are all named for members of the Amundsen expedition of 1910. 

On the 28th of december, 2007, the ship suffered a severe engine breakdown while she was on a cruise near Browns Bluff at Antarctica. Because it was not possible to manouvre the ship, she collided with a glacier and one of the ships lifeboats was seriously damaged. The ship itself suffered minor damage and there also were no injuries, so when the engines started up again, she was able to sail for the King George Island where she could be inspected. Just after the collission, the crew calmed the passengers and free drinks of the house were offered to ease nerves. Of course, when your ship slammes into a large wall of ice, it is possible that you get a little edgy. Especially because it had been just a month after another cruiseliner, the Explorer, had sank after a collission with ice and this was clearly on everyone's mind.

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