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Museum Monday highlights from Viking.TV

Courtesy Kon-Tiki Museum

We’re putting off for Iceland in some weeks to join Viking for one in all their Welcome Back cruises. So we had been poking across the organization’s website.

One outstanding resource there for the general public is Viking.TV. It was created in reaction to the pandemic and this channel is chock complete of movies approximately artwork, lifestyle, records, food, music, structure, and destinations round the sector.

Our favorite feature is Museum Monday. Stop in and also you’ll see that there are actually extra than 60 videos approximately museums and collections. which include a few fantastic at the back of the scene excursions.

You’ll find your very own favorites, however here are most of the movies that captured our interest and our imagination this week. We started with a visit to the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, Norway, home to Thor Heyerdahl’s original Kon-Tiki raft and the papyrus boat Ra II.

We additionally went down a rabbit hollow at London’s British Museum getting to know approximately how organized the museum for lockdown and toured the gathering of the Alaskan items on the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich, England.

World’s first hybrid electric powered-powered cruise deliver arrives in North America

When it comes to the surroundings and sustainability, cruise ships and lots of cruise deliver operators get failing grades on the subject of controlling carbon emissions, recycling and treating water, waste and sewage.

But way to new generation and the scrutiny of passengers, authorities businesses and environmental groups, the tide is beginning to show in want of the earth.

Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten is on the leading fringe of that attempt with the arena’s first hybrid electric-powered excursion ship, which lately made history because the first deliver of its kind to traverse the Northwest Passage.

The 530-passenger MS Roald Amundsen is known as for the Norwegian explorer who changed into the first man or woman to navigate the Northwest Passage by means of boat and the first person to pass Antarctica and reach the South Pole.

Hurtigruten’s sustainability rules encompass a ban on single-use plastics and the intention of being definitely emission-loose inside twenty years. The Roald Amundsen moves the enterprise closer to that purpose by offering a hybrid operating system that makes use of big banks of batteries to complement the electricity of the principle engines, which run on low sulfur marine gas oil.

“Excess, unneeded strength from the engines is stored in the batteries and when the engine needs more strength, we draw it lower back from the batteries and feed it into the engines,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam informed NBC.

That reduces gasoline usage, lets in the engines to perform at their most fulfilling tiers and lowers CO2 emissions by 20 percent.  

The deliver additionally has the choice to run on battery power by myself for confined periods, during which period it makes use of no fuel and creates 0 emissions.           

Charging the batteries from the ship’s excess electricity is important, said Skjeldam, due to the fact there are presently no power charging stations for ships to plug into in port.

The business enterprise’s subsequent hybrid ships might be extraordinary, he says.

Those ships can have plug-in capability and be capable of recharge at power stations Skjeldam expects to be installation along the Norwegian coast and someplace else.

The global’s first hybrid-powered cruise ship set sail from Norway in July and is now in Vancouver, B.C. making ready for a season of day trip cruises in Antarctica. Hurtigruten will debut a second hybrid-powered deliver, the MS Fridtjof Nansen, in 2020. A 1/3, but unnamed hybrid-powered ship might be brought in 2021.

Hurtigruten’s subsequent generation of hybrid ships, in conjunction with a half-dozen of its retrofitted existing ships, will run on a combination of battery electricity, liquified herbal gasoline (LNG) and biogas made from organic waste, along with lifeless fish.

“Bio-gasoline is like a Kinder Egg of fuel; it is like the ones chocolate eggs with treats interior,” said Skjeldam. “Passengers on our ships will consume fish. The waste from that fish and from the fish farming enterprise will pass into a manufacturing plant that generates fuel for our ships and creates fertilizer for the agriculture industry.”

Skjeldam says that, for now, Hurtigruten’s hybrid ships and its commitment to some distance-reaching sustainability practices is an luxurious proposition.

“We assume the era to be inexpensive inside the destiny. But we know passengers don’t need to go to lovely, pristine locations on an operator that is not taking the character they sail to significantly. Some cruise traces say they’re green, but passengers can tell the distinction.”

Other cruise strains do their component – or now not

The global’s biggest cruise business enterprise, U.S.-based totally cruise deliver operator Carnival Corp., was in court this week to address charges that it continues to violate environmental laws by discharging plastics, meals, or “gray water” into blanketed areas.

“Compliance, environmental safety, safety — it’s the primary thing,” Arnold Donald told the courtroom. “Without it, we don’t have a commercial enterprise.”

On the nice side, though, Norwegian Cruise Lines Partners lately announced that it is heading in the right direction to attain its goal of replacing all unmarried-use plastic bottles throughout its fleet through Jan. 1, 2020.

Lindblad Expeditions announced its goal to end up a carbon-neutral enterprise starting this yr by making investments to offset one hundred percentage of its emissions.

And the global cruise enterprise is working as a collection to satisfy a intention the Cruise Lines International Association introduced in 2018 of reducing the fee of carbon emissions throughout the industry fleet via forty percent through 2030.

(My tale approximately the world’s first hybrid electric powered-powered cruise ship first appeared on NBC.com)

Cruising with astronauts in Italy

I’m extraordinarily lucky – and very starstruck – to be sailing this week on Viking’s 5th and newest ocean deliver, the Viking Orion, at some stage in its maiden voyage together with her ceremonial godmother, American chemist, emergency room medical doctor and retired NASA astronaut Dr. Anna Fisher, who introduced alongside dozens of special visitors, scientists, astronomers and greater than a dozen of her fellow former and present day astronauts.

The 930-guest, 47,800-ton Viking Orion is called after the Orion constellation and in honor of Dr. Fisher’s paintings on NASA’s Orion exploration vehicle project.

I’m prowling the decks with a print-out of the pics of the astronauts and different area specialists hoping to satisfy all of them and ask them questions about everything from travel recommendations discovered from space tour to recollections of their first flights. (Getting them to signal my press release might be awkward, right?)

Their answers will seem here and in various assigned memories I’ll proportion hyperlinks to later, however inside the meantime, right here are a few photographs and tidbits from the superb naming rite that befell in Livorno, Italy that included musical performances, tributes to Nordic mythology, a flying ‘spaceman’ who traveled over the group and around the deliver through jetpack and fireworks.



In Livorno, the ship became docked beside the town’s historic Medici-constructed Fortezza Vecchia (Old Fortress) and a special interactive show off turned into installation internal to tell the memories of exploration generation at some point of records – from the Vikings’ solar compass to Galileo’s gravitational and projectile movement experiments.

Among the special functions in this deliver is a  26-seat planetarium-like theater known as the Explorers’ Dome – displaying special panoramic films approximately exploration, which includes “Journey to Space” and “Life Under the Arctic Sky” in a completely immersive surroundings.

Viking Orion maintains her maiden season sailing itineraries inside the Western and Eastern Mediterranean this summer season earlier than heading east to sail Viking’s most recent itineraries in Asia, Australia and Alaska.

Stay tuned for extra.

North to Alaska? The rush is on.


It’s no longer Klondike-generation gold nuggets they’re after, however the gold that comes from mining tourism.

Airlines, cruise corporations and chains consisting of Cabela’s and the Hard Rock Cafe are heading north to Alaska hoping to coins in on a growing tide of traffic to the Land of the Midnight Sun.

After 3 consecutive years of growth, Alaska’s traveller count number reached an all-time high of nearly 2 million visitors between May 1, 2013, and April 30, 2014, in step with the Alaska Division of Economic Development.

Those 1,961,700 site visitors beat the 2007-20008 report with the aid of five,000 people.

“For many country wide manufacturers such as Hard Rock, Alaska felt too far away to be applicable to expanding a countrywide presence and many idea it'd be too tough to run a successful department in the kingdom,” stated Calum MacPherson, place vice president of operations at Hard Rock International, “but we’ve visible a shift in latest years.”

Hard Rock now sees Anchorage as a “thriving, up-and-coming city this is uniquely placed with a growing and flourishing cruise business” he said. He additionally mentioned that the neighborhood population become indexed by way of the Census Bureau as having the country’s 2d-highest median income in 2011.

After a soft establishing early this summer season, the Hard Rock Cafe Anchorage may have a grand beginning Sept. 19 at its downtown Anchorage area at Fourth Avenue and E Street, that is wherein the long-distance Iditarod sled canine race starts offevolved every year.

Hard Rock Cafe Anchorage_courtesy Hard Rock International

Earlier this year, Cabela’s opened a one hundred,000-rectangular-foot keep in Anchorage promoting searching, fishing and outdoor equipment with natural world presentations, an aquarium, indoor archery range, a mountain reproduction, deli, fudge keep and other tourist-friendly points of interest on-website online. Bass Pro Shops, with a wetlands nature middle, filled animals, an aquarium and different traveller-friendly features, opened an outpost in July.

The new tourism document for Alaska become boosted with the aid of increases in the number of cruise visitors, more air carrier, growth in wintry weather travel and an competitive country-led tourism advertising campaign, said Joe Jacobson, director of the country’s Division of Economic Development.

Close to 1,000,000 site visitors toured Alaska through cruise deliver final 12 months, lured by means of excellent scenery, not to say a reduction within the state’s passenger head tax from $46 to $34.50.

“After that, many ships returned to Alaska and new ships entered the market,” Jacobson said. Holland America delivered departures that brought 6 percent more visitors in 2013 over 2012, Celebrity Cruises despatched one of its new Solstice Class ships to Alaska for the first time and new ships entered the market, he stated.

Increased air carrier helped Alaska raise tourism numbers as properly. Virgin America and Icelandair entered the marketplace with carrier to Anchorage, and numerous other carriers (JetBlue, United and Delta,) multiplied the wide variety in their Alaskan flights.

One wide variety that isn’t growing is the age of the common tourist.

The maximum current Visitor Statistics Program file that looked at demographics (2011-2012) found that the average age decreased slightly, from 51.6 to 50.7, among 2006 and 2011.

“The glaciers took my breath away,” stated Renee Brotman, a leadership teach and organizational consultant from Goodyear, Arizona, who currently visited Alaska on a cruise and is already planning a go back journey. “Juneau and Ketchikan are such fascinating small cities. You can stand inside the center of the street and look up and spot wonderful mountains all around you.”

Looking beforehand, Alaska’s Division of Economic Development doesn’t do a proper tourism forecast. “But due to the fact adjustments in cruise ship deployment have a tremendous effect at the Alaska vacationer marketplace—51 percent of yr-spherical traffic and fifty nine percentage of the summer market—cruise enterprise schedules for Alaska provide a good indicator of what to expect,” stated Caryl McConkie, the organization’s improvement expert.

Cruise Lines International Association Alaska estimated that the kingdom will see 972,000 cruise visitors during 2014, compared with 999,six hundred during 2013, due in element to the redeployment of Princess ships to Asia.

“Strong early bookings for 2015 imply that we may make up for a number of the lack of passengers in 2014,” McConkie stated, “Princess is replacing the Island Princess with the bigger Ruby Princess in 2015, growing lower berth potential via simply over 1,000 passengers in line with voyage.”

Climate alternate might help the 2016 cruise season heat up as nicely.

Since the Nineteen Nineties, day trip-style cruise corporations consisting of Polar Cruises, have provided sailings on smaller ships (with as much as 199 passengers) that go away traditionally plied Alaska waters to explore Iceland, Greenland and sections of the Northwest Passage, which connects the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans.

In 2016, Crystal Cruises plans to be the primary luxury line to navigate the Northwest Passage course.

During a cruise from Aug. 16 to Sept. 17, 2016, the 68,000-ton Crystal Serenity, which consists of 1,070 passengers, will journey from Anchorage/Seward to New York City, through Arctic waterways traditionally no longer navigable by means of massive ships.

On its website, Crystal explains that a cruise is now feasible due to the fact the “quantity of ice within the Northwest Passage has declined substantially over the years, especially at the stop of the summer in the southern reaches of the Passage,” creating a window of time whilst its thirteen-deck vessel will have minimal chance of strolling into “ice concentrations.”

Prices for the voyage start at $19,975 in keeping with individual.

(My story approximately tourism in Alaska first appeared on CNBC Road Warrior).