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​Hurtigruten temporarily suspends operations

Pressemelding   •   mar 18, 2020 17:05 CET

Due to effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Hurtigruten stops operations from pole to pole until the end of April. Photo: Andrea Klaussner / Hurtigruten

As a response to the global coronavirus outbreak, Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise operator, will voluntarily stop operations from pole to pole until the end of April.

- To temporarily suspend operations was a difficult decision to make. And it’s an emotional moment for me and the entire Hurtigruten team. But I firmly believe it is the only responsible decision in the extraordinary crisis the world is currently facing, says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

Like the rest of the cruise industry, Hurtigruten last week committed to pause operations in US waters for 30 days. Over the past weeks, Hurtigruten has encouraged guests to move their bookings free of charge and have been working around-the-clock to help guests return to their home countries.

Now, the expedition cruise company pauses their global expedition cruise operations through April 28 and their Norwegian coastal cruises through April 19.

- One of Hurtigruten's core values is “We care”. We care about our staff, we care about our guests, we care about the local communities we visit, and not least: We care about our role in the global society. That is why we are now taking these monumental steps to follow up on our continued commitment to take all appropriate actions to combat the spread of COVID-19, says Skjeldam.

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Helping guests home – supporting communities

Over the past week, Hurtigruten has helped thousands of guests return to their home countries. Dedicated teams are working around-the-clock to assist the limited number of guests still on board Hurtigruten’s ships back home.

To ensure a smooth and safe pause to operations, Hurtigruten will gradually take their small, custom-built expedition cruise ships out of operation.

- At the same time, in cooperation with the Norwegian government, we will deploy two of our ships in an amended domestic schedule, bringing critical supplies and goods to local communities on the Norwegian coast at this time of crisis, says Skjeldam.

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Strict measures – no virus cases

Since the start of the outbreak, Hurtigruten introduced several targeted measures to combat the spread of the virus, meeting or exceeding all regulatory and industry standards.

There have been no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus on any Hurtigruten ships.

- This is made possible thanks to the small size of our ships, combined with the professionality, dedication and skills from teams of medical experts, industrial hygienists and other hard-working colleagues on board and on shore, says Skjeldam.

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Flexible guest solutions

Hurtigruten is dedicated to welcome modern-day explorers back on board as soon as the company resumes operations, and have presented booked guests with a number of flexible rebooking options through a dedicated web page

  • Guests who have their voyages cancelled because of the temporary suspension of operations are offered a Hurtigruten Future Cruise Voucher in the amount of 125% of amounts paid (including fees). They will also get a 10% discount on any future Hurtigruten cruise - Expedition or Norwegian Coastal - from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2021, with a flexible rebooking date.
  • Even though they are not affected by the temporary suspension of operations, guests booked on voyages through 30 September 2020 are offered rebooking, without any rebooking fee, to any future Hurtigruten cruise - Expedition or Norwegian Coastal - for departures between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2021.

For full policy and rebooking options, please click here to visit Hurtigruten’s dedicated information page.

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Unprecedented times – unprecedented experience

- After more than 125 years of operation, we’ve learned from our past experiences weathering storms such as wars, recessions and outbreaks. This is a setback for us, for the local communities and for our guests. But the setback is only temporarily, says Skjeldam.

- I am confident that this decision was both right and responsible. And I am confident that Hurtigruten and our explorers will hit the ground running as soon as we resume operations – embarking on life-changing adventures with all the Hurtigruten difference.   

Hurtigruten - World leader in exploration travel

Building on 125 years of Norwegian pioneering heritage, Hurtigruten is today the world's largest expedition cruise company.

Hurtigruten’s rapidly growing fleet of custom-build expedition ships takes modern-day adventure travellers to the world’s most spectacular destinations on our Planet - from the High North to Antarctica in the south.

Being the world leader in exploration travel comes with a great responsibility. Hurtigruten is enhancing destinations and runs an responsible, sustainable global operation. Read more about Hurtigruten's sustainability efforts here.

Hurtigruten is introducing the world’s first hybrid battery powered cruise ships, the MS Roald Amundsen (2019) and the MS Fridtjof Nansen (2020).