The first and only vessel to have called in to Stornoway during the 2020 cruise season is now playing host to a cruise party of a completely different kind.
Hurtigruten’s brand-new hybrid fuel vessel MS Fridtjof Nansen is reported to have become the floating hotel for the cast of the next Mission Impossible movie, starring Tom Cruise.
The Fridtjof Nansen called into Stornoway on 28 February as part of a round-Britain promotion and familiarisation tour. She was presented with a plaque commemorating her maiden visit by harbourmaster Scott Campbell.
Since the beginning of August the ship, currently moored off at the head of a fjord near the village of Hellesylt in south-west Norway, has been taken over by the cast and crew of Mission Impossible 7.
Hollywood star Tom Cruise is said to be keen to prevent any further disruption to the filming schedule for the blockbuster movie, which has already been shut down since March during lockdown.
The news website Norway Today reported that two ships had been rented for the whole of August and September, one as a hotel and the other potentially as a location for some elements of the filming.
Fridtjof Nansen’s sister ship, Roald Amundsen, is currently embroiled in political and medical debate after a significant outbreak of Covid-19 among her crew last month.
She was due to visit Stornoway on Monday 14 September after Hurtigruten undertook what was described as ‘an accelerated return’ to their cruise schedule following the worldwide lockdown on cruising.
That was cut short after 62 passengers and crew were tested positive for Covid-19. Tests on board the Fridtjof Nansen showed all passengers and crew on that vessel to be clear of the virus.
Pictures show the Fridtjof Nansen in Stornoway on 28 February (Stornoway Shipping Services) and her current scenic location at Hellesylt in Norway (Creative Commons/Sergey Ashmarin).