After nearly six decades operating on the Norwegian coast, Hurtigruten’s ‘Lofoten’ is to leave the fleet to become a training ship.
Hurtigruten has signed a letter of intent with the Norway-based educational foundation Maritim videregående skole Sørlandet (Sørlandet’s Maritime High School) to sell ‘Lofoten’.
The 151-bed ship is due to welcome her first students in August, 2021.
“This opens a new chapter in ‘Lofoten’s’ rich and proud history. She has been a part of everyday life along the Norwegian coast for generations. Now, she will train the next generation of seafarers,” Hurtigruten Group CEO, Daniel Skjeldam, said.
The school has trained young seafarers since 1927. ‘Lofoten’ will be Sørlandet’s fifth training ship, where students can live, work and practice their skills on board ship.
“There is a growing demand for skilled seafarers, especially those with a background from training ships. The acquisition of ‘Lofoten’ is an important step forward for us. She is a true gem that deserves to be looked well after,” added Tor Helge Egeland, the school’s director.
Several former Hurtigruten ships serve or have served as maritime training ships.
As part of the agreement, Hurtigruten and the school have agreed to arrange for cadets to be educated and trained through apprenticeship programmes also on other Hurtigruten ships currently operating.