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Hurtigruten Group

The Science Center

Uncover a unique perspective on the people, places, and wildlife we discover around the ship. Packed with state-of-the-art technology and equipment, the Science Center is at the heart of our on-board experience.

Embrace your Inner Scientist

When you think of the features on board your traditional cruise ship, the first thing that comes to mind would be the spas, many restaurants, and cafes—and not a state-of-the-art Science and Education Center; but this is an expedition cruise ship. We like to think of our Science Centers and the adjoining lecture areas as the core of the on-board experience, where you can gain a deeper understanding of the destinations you'll explore and significantly enhance your experience and knowledge.

Our first Science Center was built from pure enthusiasm and in a somewhat improvised manner on MS Midnatsol, now MS Maud. Since then, we’ve introduced Science Centers across the whole fleet, including on MS Santa Cruz II, which sails in the Galápagos Islands.

The Science Centers give us the opportunity to really engage with you, our guests, and deepen your learning through hands-on, immersive experiences. Nothing gives more science joy than doing your own research for the first time! They are also a place for our scientists and visiting researchers to work, for instance by preparing newly collected samples for transport or storage. In addition to the science equipment, they also include museum-type collections, a small library, and specialty areas for workshops in photography, biology, arts and crafts, and much more!

Step Inside the Science Center

Scientific Equipment

  • High-quality stereo microscopes for medium amplification (rocks, seaweed, etc.) and compound microscopes for higher amplification (plankton, biological samples, etc.).

  • iPads for the drone and engagement in Citizen Science projects.

  • Sampling material such as plankton nets, CTD (to measure ocean depth, salinity, and temperature), and underwater drones to video life under the surface.

Collections and Samples

  • Bone clone (replicas) comprehensive collections of bird, bear (polar and brown), whale, and dolphin skulls, eggs, tusks, claws, and teeth.

  • A variety of fur samples e.g. seals, bears, reindeer, etc.

  • Various rocks (with matching thin sections slides to look at the mineral structure) and sand collections.

Resources and Materials

  • Various materials to conduct experiments on ocean currents, types of ice, volcanos, etc.

  • Selection of scientific and guide books across various topics and destinations.

  • Identification posters to help spot wildlife.

  • Interactive maps.

"The Science Centres really just give that edge, they allow that in-depth insight into the natural world and deeper understanding of the destination. So when there are activities going on and guests are immersed in Phytoplankton, feathers, or rocks, it gives me a real buzz."

Tudor Morgan, VP of Industry and Stakeholder Relations

Additional Learning Through Our Lecture Series

To supplement the hands-on experiences in the Science Center, our on-board Science and Expedition Team will run a series of lectures throughout the voyage. Tapping into the Team’s passions, interests, and backgrounds, the lectures are designed to further enhance your understanding of the world around you. The topics range from history and culture, climate change, and sustainability to community engagement, wildlife, Earth science, and other topics relevant to the waters and nature we sail through.

When we are lucky enough to have our scientific partners and collaborators on board, we offer them the chance to run guest lectures on everything from the current research projects they are conducting on board to past projects and their key findings. Having this unique opportunity to interact with a like-minded audience provides a great platform for community outreach and engagement. In turn, we have noted that this can help increase participation in citizen science projects both on board and when our guests have left the ship.

"Exploration does not have to cost the planet. Through our immersive lecture programme, we are changing the way that our guests see the world whilst experiencing it first-hand; inspiring them to be ambassadors for its protection – from its pristine landscapes and wildlife to its history, people, culture, and communities."

Dr. Emily Baxter, Head of Guest Learning

Other stories

Penguins perched on the ice of Cuverville Island, Antarctica. Credit: Espen Mills / HX Hurtigruten Expeditions

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