New York, NY July 2006 — Norwegian Coastal Voyage's MS Fram, currently being built by Italian shipyard Fincantieri, is on schedule for its maiden voyage in April, 2007. The 12,700-ton, 328-berth, eight-deck ship, the first cruise ship built exclusively for sailing in Greenland from May through September, makes significant use of the country's culture as inspiration for design while incorporating a striking Scandinavian feel with the extensive use of wool, leather and oak. The ship is named after the polar ship built and used by Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen on a three-year expedition around Greenland in the late 1800s.

Original artwork is a theme on all of NCV's ships and the MS Fram continues the tradition — Ane Birthe Hove, from Nuuk in Greenland, chosen as the ship's main artist, and several other artists from Greenland and Norway have been commissioned. The ship's architect, Arne Johansen, made use of concept terms from the Intuit language in describing the design philosophy of the ship's interior: "Imaq," or "sea", describes the ship's main dining room, situated at the aft of the ship and close to the sea; "Nunami" means "ashore", and entails the forward areas where the main reception and lobby are situated to better guide guests; and "Qilak," or "sky", is the perfect term for the ship's glass-enclosed observation salon offering panoramic views of the outside scenery "“ from the sea to the sky. Additional highlights include excellent conference and meeting facilities, a wellness center with saunas, work-out room and two glass-screened heated outdoor whirlpools, a bistro, a guest bridge for viewing selected data from the ship's bridge and a ship's library.

The MS Fram's 2007 Greenland season begins in May with a 12-day sailing from Iceland's Reykjavik to the eastern and southern Greenland coasts (with a reverse itinerary at the end of the season) followed by eight-day cruises in the Disko Bay region, and ending with 15-day itineraries that take in both the Disko Bay region and Thule in the far northern area of Greenland and home to the US Armed Forces’ northernmost installation. The sailings combine sea and land-based excursions, presentations on numerous aspects of life in Greenland and many included and optional activities: museum visits, helicopter trips, dog-sledding and hiking tours, just to name a few.

Norwegian Coastal Voyage is at (800) 323-7436 or (212) 319-1300; for brochures, (800) 666-2374, 24 hours a day; web site

For more on Greenland at ITKT

Globe Trekker - Iceland & Greenland