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February 2014

Hurtigruten's 'Whisky Project' sends booze on a cruise

MS Fram with Scotch whisky

ABOVE: Two 150-liter barrels of single-malt Scotch whisky await loading on MS Fram. INSET BELOW: Enjoy a wee dram from the Fram.

You may have heard about the Norwegian tradition of shipping acquavit to the Southern Hemispherre and back before bottling. That spiritous seafaring tradition is still observed, but Hurtigruten--the Tromsø-based Norwegian coastal-ferry and cruise line--has just added a twist (and no, we're not talking about a twist of lemon):

  • This year, Hurtigruten's expedition ship, MS Fram, will carry two 150-liter barrels of single-malt Scotch whisky across the northern and southern polar circles, the zero meridian, and the equator for aquavit-style aging.

AMS Fram Expedition Whisky bottleccording to MS Fram's captain, Arild Harvik, the goal of the "Whisky Project" is to improve the spirit's already excellent qualities through wave action, temperature changes, and sea air during the whisky's nine-month cruise.

The barrels were loaded onto MS Fram in Hamburg last October. In July, after a voyage of nearly 125,000 km or 78,000 miles, the cask-strength whisky will be bottled directly from the barrels in a limited edition of no more than 200 bottles.

Each bottle will come with a whisky diary and certificate, and it will be sold in MS Fram's shop beginning this fall. (Passengers will also be able to sample the "MS Fram Expedition Whisky" at the onboard bar.)

This spring, you can cruise with the casks.

To whet your appetite for the well-traveled tipple, Hurtigruten is offering two whisky-themed cruises on MS Fram this spring:

Both voyages start in Bergen, Norway, and will be accompanied by a Scottish lecturer and whisky expert.

For more information, click the itinerary links above or visit www.hurtigruten.com.

BELOW: A barrel of single-malt Scotch embarks for a nine-month cruise on Hurtigruten's MS Fram

Hurtigruten MS FRAM and whisky

Photos: Hurtigruten USA.
Source: Gillies & Zaiser for Hurtigruten USA.