Review of the MS Malmo

Jessica Tiffin

13 Feb 2015

Introducing the MS Malmo

With the exciting news that Natural World Safaris have secured an exclusive charter of the wonderful MS Malmo for the next 4 years of summer Svalbard safaris, MD Will Bolsover and I set off to Gothenburg to investigate the vessel and its two sister ships the MS Stockholm and MS Origo.

In the morning we met up with Captain Kenth and his wife Gunnel who own two of the ships, and they took us for a look around. Obviously passionate about what they do and having organised polar cruises together for 25 years, it was an honour to be taken into the warm cozy bows of their pride and joy and talk about what was in store for our clients.

Built in 1943 as a maritime vessel with heritage listing, the MS Malmo is a charming ship full of traditional brass and wooden flooring.

We were shown the gorgeous mess area, where the guests enjoy traditional home cooked Swedish meals. It has a small bar area and is surrounded by windows and doors to the upper deck, useful for any sudden wildlife sightings. There is also a separate saloon area on the lower deck for relaxing with a good book or watching presentations on the TV screen, and a huge galley with sea views where all the culinary magic happens. The cabins have been tastefully refurbished so that they haven’t lost any of the old ships character, but have new dark wooden beds with huge thick comfy mattresses. All rooms have portholes so you can gaze out to sea, a surprising amount of space, and all the bathrooms are newly fitted.

As the ship is all ours, and with only 12 guests and 2 experienced expedition staff, each trip will be unique to the people on board. The Captain can arrange bbq’s on the shore or on deck depending on your whim…. and the weather of course! Kenth said he will personally be captaining the ship for our trip in 2015, and having been on over 140 cruises he has never missed a polar bear, so we are confident our guests are in good hands. Also, with two brand new zodiac boats for tundra landings and zodiac cruises, full body flotation suits for these outings, and a specially recommended wildlife guide to give lectures on everything from ornithology to history, we can’t help getting excited about our future arctic adventures with these guys.

We also got a chance to have a look at the MS Origo, the Malmo’s slightly bigger sister ship. This has space for 24 people and is used more for educational or photography trips. We were very impressed with extra mess/ bar area with log burning stove, and the steaming hot tub on the upper deck! In fact definitely watch this space as we hope to be lucky enough to obtain a special charter of this ship in the future.

We say thank you and goodbye to Gunnel and Kenth, and after a day of arctic stories and maritime discussions I can just imagine how thrilling it would be to be voyaging in the high arctic on board this beautiful vessel the MS Malmo. To finish a day of exploring by indulging in hearty fish stew in the company of like-minded wildlife enthusiasts, before venturing out on deck to spot puffins circling as we cruise past icy peaks glistening in the sunshine. I’ll be having arctic dreams tonight for sure!

Join us on the MS Malmo on the Svalbard Polar Bear Explorer itinerary.

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