World’s First Ship Christening in Antarctica

Hurtigruten’s new hybrid-powered MS Roald Amundsen will be the first ship in history to be named in Antarctica. (Credit: Espen Mills/Hurtigruten)

Hybrid-powered expedition cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen continues to make history as the first ever ship to have its naming ceremony held in Antarctica.

Instead of the traditional bottle of champagne, MS Roald Amundsen’s explorer heritage will be honored by naming the vessel with a chunk of ice.

The naming ceremony will take place this fall, as the first world’s first hybrid-powered cruise ship makes its way to the white continent on its maiden Antarctic voyage.

Named after polar hero Roald Amundsen–who led the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage, the first expedition to the South Pole and the first expedition proven to have reached the North Pole–the vessel’s naming ceremony is set to honor his legacy with a ritual invented by Amundsen himself.

When christening his famed expedition ship Maud in 1917, the explorer switched the traditional bottle of champagne with a chunk of ice. Before crushing the ice against the bow, he stated:

“It is not my intention to dishonor the glorious grape, but already now you shall get the taste of your real environment. For the ice you have been built, and in the ice you shall stay most of your life, and in the ice you shall solve your tasks.”

Roald Amundsen. (Credit: National Library)

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