After nearly six decades servicing the Norwegian coast, the Lofoten is slated to leave the Hurtigruten fleet in 2021 and become a training ship.
Hurtigruten announced on Thursday it has signed a letter of intent with the Norway-based educational foundation Maritim videregående skole Sørlandet (Sørlandet’s Maritime High School) for the sale of the classic vessel.
The 151-bed ship is due to welcome her first students in August 2021.
“This opens a new chapter in MS 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,” said Hurtigruten Group CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
The school has trained young mariners since 1927. The Lofoten will be their fifth training ship, where students live, work and practice their skills onboard the vessel.
“There is a growing demand for skilled seafarers, especially those with a background from training ships. The acquisition of MS 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.
.Through the sales agreement, Hurtigruten has reserved the rights to charter MS Lofoten from the foundation during periods outside the school year.
Hurtigruten also announced it is looking into launching one or more Lofoten farewell voyages on the Norwegian coast in spring 2021,