In an industry often criticized for its environmental footprint, is the arrival of the world’s first hybrid cruise ship a legitimate step in a more sustainable direction? Kristen Pope clambers aboard for the maiden voyage. 

“Iceberg!” my husband exclaims as we rush to grab binoculars and head to the top deck to take in the view. We’re sailing in Antarctic waters aboard the MS Roald Amundsen and due to have our first landing in just a few hours. We watch as the ship approaches an array of icebergs, some with colonies of penguins on them. A faint glimpse of land appears, and we gradually approach the spot where we’ll first touch Antarctica.

Famed polar explorer Roald Amundsen was just 10 years old when he took to his journal to describe the ship of his dreams:

In my imagination, I created an electric ship that could break through all kinds of ice, that nice and elegantly, fearful and irresistible, could sail through the Arctic oceans, straight to the Pole.”

The year was 1882. In 1911, he led the first expedition to reach the South Pole, but he never did sail on the ship of his dreams.